2014 Parade Royalty Announced

January 9, 2014


 HOT SPRINGS NATIONAL PARK, Arkansas — One of Hot Springs’ best-known couples will reign over the First Ever 11th Annual World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Hot Springs on March 17.

 Tom and Mary Daniel will be the King and Queen of the Parade, which covers the 98-foot length of world-famous Bridge Street, the shortest street in the world in everyday use, according to Ripley’s Believe It or Not.

 Entertainer Jim Belushi, star of TV, movies and comedy clubs, will be the celebrity grand marshal, leading the dozens of floats, bands, marchers, Irish Elvis Presley impersonators, Irish wolfhounds, dancing Irish belly dancers and others down Bridge Street.

 “It’s hard to believe this will be the 11th year we’ve put together this event, which began as an idea hatched by a group of citizens enjoying adult beverages in a bar at Spencer’s Corner,” said Steve Arrison, CEO of Visit Hot Springs.

 “We’re especially glad that Tom and Mary will reign over this great fun event, which has brought worldwide attention Hot Springs,” Arrison said.

 The couple, which has devoted years of service to Hot Springs and its citizens, have been married for 22 years and have four children, seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Both are lifelong residents of Hot Springs.

 “I’ve been a part of staging every one of the World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parades,” Tom Daniel said. “I’ve shot off green fireworks from the roof at Spencer’s Corner, and I’ve been down there in the crowd, which has grown every year to the point that it fills a good portion of the downtown area.

 “It’ll be good to get off my feet and ride in a convertible with Mary this year.”

 Mary Daniel said, “Being married to Tom is sort of like participating in a parade every day. We’ll have a big time being the king and queen.”

 Mary-loves the St. Patrick’s Day Parade “because of the huge crowd of people and how much fun everyone has during the day. It’s fun to see how people look forward to St. Patrick’s Day.”

 Tom calls it a “transformation day. A day that people do a lot of things that they not normally do. It’s just an amazing way for people from everywhere to come to Hot Springs and have fun.”

 The Daniels are the owners of several downtown businesses and Spa Fireworks.

 Mary has worked in banking until her recent retirement from Summit Bank, where she worked for more than 13 years. She also has worked at Oaklawn Park  during the live racing meet for 40 years.

 Tom, a former city director, is also the past chairman of the Hot Springs Advertising and Promotion Commission. He is a past president of the Oaklawn Rotary Club and past president of the Downtown Merchants Association.

 Entries are already being accepted for the 11th annual parade. Only 40 entries will be accepted, and one entry has already been received by Leysa Lowery at Visit Hot Springs. For information on submitting an entry, call Lowery at 501-321-2027.