Manistee ready to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this weekend

The annual Wee Parade is set for 5 p.m. on Saturday, and will be hosted by the Manistee B.P.O. Elks Lodge No. 250 this year. (News Advocate File photo)

The annual Wee Parade is set for 5 p.m. on Saturday, and will be hosted by the Manistee B.P.O. Elks Lodge No. 250 this year. (News Advocate File photo)

MANISTEE — Manistee’s downtown area will go green this upcoming weekend in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day on Saturday.

Honing in on local tradition, the “Wee Parade” will be held at 5 p.m. on Saturday, which starts at the corner of Maple and River streets, heading west on River Street and ending at the fountain.

In years past, the parade was hosted by the Manistee Eagles Club; however, it had to step down. Taking on the duty for a second year, the Manistee B.P.O. Elks Lodge No. 250 will host the parade for this year.

After the parade, attendees are invited back to the Elks Lodge at 432 River St. to enjoy festive drinks and a meal. The event serves as a way to start off the night, as other places in the area will host St. Patrick’s Day festivities later on in the evening.

“The Elk’s are doing corned beef sandwiches, chili and other things open to the public,” said Mayor Jim Smith, who is also the Exalted Ruler of the Elks.

Bringing many together to enjoy a day downtown, Smith said attendees who join the festivities typically channel the “luck of the Irish,” sporting costumes and decking out the downtown with plenty of green.

“It’s just kind of a fun event, people dress-up for the occasion,” he said. “We will have some green beer down on River Street. It should be as popular as last year.”

Smith said the Elks are expecting a great turnout again this year.

“There’s a lot of fun events to enjoy,” said Smith. “Last year, we had a lot of different groups involved in the parade.”

The Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts (RRCA) will also host Irish Night on Friday, starting out the St. Patrick’s Day weekend with the sale of food, drinks in the ballroom all starting around 5:30 p.m. Food will be provided by Iron Works Café.

The event will feature music starting at 7 p.m. in the theatre from two live performers. Tickets can be purchased at MyNorthTickets.com or by calling (800) 836-0717.

“We’re so excited to be doing this again. Our supporters have made this a reality,” said Xavier Verna, executive director of the RRCA. “This year, you can expect great food, Celtic dancing by the Conservatory of Dance and live music.”

Bob and Carl, a duo from Mount Clemens, will open the show playing world classic rock, folk and Irish music. They have been playing music together since the fourth grade. There will be a short intermission following the act, to enjoy more drinks and food, if available.

The second musical act is CrossBow, of Grand Rapids. Starting from a jam session at Grand Valley State University, the band has evolved into a favorite at Celtic festivals across the Midwest.

Shelli Golembiewski and Tarah Fancher, co-owners of the Conservatory of Dance, are working to make the event a hit, as well.

“Our intermediate/advanced Celtic class has been working hard to prepare some great Irish dance pieces for St. Patrick’s Day. We can’t wait to perform them,” stated Golembiewski and Fancher, in a RRCA press release.

Other Irish themed activities will take place in downtown Manistee on Friday and Saturday, while plenty of establishments will be serving green beer and hosting weekend sales. Check out Manistee’s downtown events on Facebook at the Downtown Manistee page.

Downtown Ludington will also host several events on St. Patrick’s Day this year, including the Irish Jig 5K at 9 a.m. on Saturday; local shops will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the “Irish I Was Shopping” event; the Sportsman’s Shamrock Parade starts at noon; and the St. Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl will commence thereafter.

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Posted by Ashlyn Korienek

Ashlyn is the cops & courts and city reporter for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach her at (231) 398-3109 or akorienek@pioneergroup.com

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