HOT SPRINGS NATIONAL PARK, Arkansas — Goofballs, witches and aquatic “babes” have signed up already for the First Ever 21st Annual World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade® as the deadline for the limited slots available approaches.
“We only have 40 slots available for entries,” Visit Hot Springs CEO Steve Arrison said, “and we are rapidly approaching that limit. Because our parade route is only 98 feet long, we have to limit the number of participants to 40 or else our little parade might last all night.”
The entry deadline is March 1 unless the 40-entry limit is reached before that, he said.
Alexis Hampo, VHS special events manager, said some standouts already have submitted their entry forms to her.
“We have some great returning entries like the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders,” Hampo said, “and we also have the return of the Cousin O’Eddies, who proved to be a crowd favorite last year.”
The Cousin O’Eddies are a group of fun lovers who model their parade entry on the likeable goofball, Cousin Eddie Johnson, played by Randy Quaid in the classic “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” movie.
The group’s entry form says, “We are the Cousin O’Eddies, the Irish cousins of Cousin Eddie from ‘Christmas Vacation.’ We bring his charm and sophistication — or lack thereof — to the parade.”
Hampo said another fun-sounding entry has come in for The Wandering Witches — Shamrockin’ Witches. The group’s entry form says, “We are a dancing group that perform as Celtic witches. For the parade we will represent Irish Green with varying costumes, lots of dazzle and sparkling lights. We have an eight-foot green banner with our name, ‘Shamrockin’ Witches,’ bedecked with shamrocks that will be carried in front of our group. We will be bopping and cackling the whole parade.”
Then there are the Hot Springs Health and Fitness Aqua Babes, who say, “The Aqua Babes will be walking and performing a synchronized routine dressed as Irish aqua fitness babes, green attire, green swim caps and goggles plus aqua dumbbells.”
“As you can see,” Hampo said, “this year’s 21st version of our world-famous little parade will live up to its goal of delivering a wacky evening of family entertainment on its 98-foot route. We only have a few entry slots remaining, so anyone who wants to be a part of this spectacle should get their entry form in to me ASAP.”
Information for registering can be had by emailing Visit Hot Springs Special Events Manager Alexis Hampo at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the entry form.
Already announced for this year’s parade are Dallas Cowboys legend Emmitt Smith as grand marshal and “Yellowstone” TV star Forrie J. Smith as the official parade starter.
Movie star Joey Lauren Adams and armwrestling legend Michael (The Monster) Todd — both Hot Springs residents — will reign as queen and king of the parade in downtown Hot Springs on March 17.
The World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade® annually attracts more than 30,000 fans from across the country to Bridge Street, which Ripley’s Believe It or Not declared the World’s Shortest Street in Everyday Use. It features an array of 40 or more zany entries that include a troupe of marching Irish Elvis Presley impersonators, the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, wacky floats, marching bands and assorted performance groups who adopt the parade’s irreverent take on the boisterous holiday.
Country music star Pat Green will perform a free public concert on the Bridge Street stage on Saturday, March 16, to kick off a weekend of big fun. The pop tribute band The Molly Ringwalds will perform a free concert immediately after the parade on Sunday, March 17.
For more information call Steve Arrison at 501-321-2027.