HOT SPRINGS NATIONAL PARK, Arkansas — A group of 18 friends originally from Michigan who travel to St. Patrick’s Day parades across America will have an entry in The First Ever 19th Annual Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade® in Hot Springs on March 17, 2022.
David Murphy of Baltimore, who submitted the group’s entry form, said St. Patrick and The Shenanigans — Straight Outta Dublin “would be honored to participate in the World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade.”
“We are all originally from Michigan; some of us have been friends since high school, others friends since college,” Murphy said. “Although a few still live in Michigan, many of us now live in other parts of the country (from California to Washington, D.C., to Florida).
“Each year for the past 23 years, we’ve gotten together in a different American town to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. When our friend Eddie nominated Hot Springs for consideration next year, we all agreed that this had to be our destination for SPD [St. Patrick’s Day] 2022. It checked all the boxes for us. In particular, we look for a town that embraces the spirit of the St. Patrick’s Day holiday as much as we do. Your town obviously does that, and we couldn’t be more excited to visit.”
“This group has touched my heart because they ‘get’ why we do this annually,” said Leysa Lowery, human resources director for Visit Hot Springs and coordinator of entries for the parade.
Lowery said only 13 slots remain open for parade entries. “We limit entries to 40 each year to keep the parade manageable,” she said, “and the Shenanigans bring our total entries to 27. Folks who want to submit entries should go to the parade website at www.shorteststpats.com and get registered.”
Murphy said his group of friends would enter a 20-foot-long float titled St. Patrick and The Shenanigans — Straight Outta Dublin.
“It features our buddy Kevin dressed as Saint Patrick, with a cast of characters known as The Shenanigans, who have graced St. Patrick’s Day parades from Boston to Charleston to San Antonio,” Murphy said. “It also features The Shenanigans’ biggest fan, an eight-foot-tall inflatable dinosaur named O’Rex.”
He said the float will be decorated with lights and covered with inflatable snakes “slithering to get Straight Outta Dublin.”
“These guys are the perfect embodiment of the atmosphere of good-hearted silliness that surrounds our giant little parade,” said Steve Arrison, CEO of Visit Hot Springs and one of the founders of the parade. “They will fit right in.”
Other attractions of the 2022 parade previously announced include Arkansas Razorbacks Head Football Coach Sam Pittman and his wife, Jamie, who will serve as King and Queen.
The parade, which began in 2003, annually attracts upwards of 30,000 people to the city’s historic downtown district. The parade is immensely popular, with its insanely zany collection of marchers, strutters, dancers, waddlers and floats that cover the 98-foot length of Bridge Street in the heart of downtown Hot Springs. It has been named numerous times among the Top 10 parades in the world.
After two postponements in 2020 and 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade® will return in full form March 17 with comedian Cheech Marin as the celebrity grand marshal and Danny (Machete) Trejo as the official starter. The parade has consistently been designated among the Top 10 St. Patrick’s Day Parades in the world.
Marin and Trejo had been scheduled to participate in the 2020 parade, but the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the event for two years, resulting in drastically reduced versions in 2020 and 2021.
For more information call Steve Arrison at 501-321-2027.