HOT SPRINGS NATIONAL PARK, Arkansas — Who better to fire the starter’s pistol for the First Ever 20th Annual World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade than Shooter McGavin from the iconic “Happy Gilmore” movie?
Christopher McDonald, who played the nefarious Shooter in the Adam Sandler classic, was named today as the Official Starter for the 20th edition of the crazy little parade on 98-foot Bridge Street March 17 in downtown Hot Springs. He was nominated for a 2022 Emmy Award for his role opposite Jean Smart in HBO Max’s Emmy-nominated comedy-drama “Hacks.”
“Christopher McDonald is immediately recognizable to fans through his many appearances in television, movies and on the stage,” Visit Hot Springs CEO and parade founder Steve Arrison said. “He’ll be a great addition to our parade as we celebrate 20 years of fun and hilarity for our city.”
McDonald is famous for his roles in addition to “Happy Gilmore.” They include “Thelma and Louise,” Quiz Show,” “The Perfect Storm,” “The Sopranos,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “Bronx Is Burning” and others.
Visit Hot Springs previously announced the iconic band Village People [no “the”] would perform a free public concert on March 18, the day after the famous little parade. It also announced that The Molly Ringwalds band, which was such a hit at the Memorial Day festivities at the Hot Springs Airport, will be back to entertain at a free public concert immediately after the parade on St. Patrick’s Day.
Arrison, who founded the parade back in 2003, said parade organizers are also working to finalize plans for signing the celebrity grand marshal and the celebrity official starter for the parade.
“The 20th anniversary edition of the parade will be pretty special,” he said. “We’ll want the crowd to enjoy Hot Springs in celebrating our city’s equivalent of New Orleans’ Mardi Gras. Hard to believe it was 20 years ago when a bunch of us were sharing a beer at Spencer’s Corner and wondering how to take advantage of the fact that Bridge Street — right outside the door — is recognized as the shortest street in the world in everyday use. It dawned on me that we could have a 98-foot parade and bill it as the world’s shortest.
“That was 20 years ago, and for years now our wacky little parade has brought international attention to Hot Springs as a really great place to have a good time.”
The parade annually attracts crowds of upwards of 30,000 people to watch an insanely zany collection of Irish Elvis impersonators, marching units, floats, dancers and the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, as well as other unique units cover the 98-foot length of Bridge Street.
For more information call Steve Arrison, 501-321-2027.