Each year, in mid-March, millions of the Irish, both native and by descent, come together with friends of all ancestries to celebrate Ireland's patron saint, Patrick. Covington celebrates St. Patrick's Day 2020 on Saturday, March 14 with a parade in Covington starting at 12:00 noon, marching through the historic downtown district and concluding with a block party at the corner of New Hampshire and Rutland Streets, complete with food, beer and live music until 5:00 p.m.
The traditional parade offerings include 100+ members handing out paper flowers and other Irish throws (it's traditional to give 'em a kiss for a flower!), Grand Marshal Ryan Schimpf, the Kilts of Many Colors Bagpipers, Irish dancers and wolfhounds, St. Paul’s Marching Wolves, local favorite Mande Milkshakers and several other marching groups parading through the historic streets.
Immediately following parade end, the babpipers will play, the Mande Milkshakers will do a quick performance with their DJ, and closing out the day, Zita (formerly Next Gen V) will play until block party end at 5 p.m. The event is free but there will be food and drinks available for purchase. Local restaurant Sweet Daddy’s BBQ will be selling food at the block party, the Budweiser Tap Truck will be out with plenty of craft and domestic beer and Del Porto Ristorante will be selling their famous martinis and other drinks. Also, Southern Hotel will host a party in the Garden House.
2020 Grand Marshal Ryan Schimpf, Covington resident and St. Paul's alum, is a former professional baseball infielder. After winning the 2009 College World Series with LSU and being selected for the All-Tournament Team, Schimpf made his Major League Baseball (MLB) debut, signing with the Toronto Blue Jays. Schimpf became a free agent after the 2015 season, and signed with the San Diego Padres. He was quickly promoted to the majors, and just one month into his MLB career, was named National League Rookie of the Month, hitting 20 home runs that season. He went on to play for the Los Angeles Angels in 2018, retiring later that year. He now resides in Covington with his wife and two children.
The parade begins promptly at 12 p.m. in front of Columbia Street Tap Room, and travels south on Columbia, turning left onto Gibson, right (south) on Lee Lane, the parade crosses Boston Street and turns right onto Rutland Street, passes in front of the English Tea Room, and ends in front of Jewel's Cigar & Briar Shop for the block party until 5 p.m.
Some downtown businesses will have watch-parties during and after the parade, but parade-goers should spread out along the whole route to get the best view and special catches.
So, embrace your Irish hritage (even if you are just pretending for the day)--all are invited to revel in Covington's historic streets, celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and see how restaurants, local businesses, and shops throw a celebration to remember. Don't forget to wear your green. Erin Go Bragh!
This event is presented by the City of Covington, The English Tea Room & Eatery, Covington Celtic Club and Jewel's Cigar and Briar. For more information, visit www.CovingtonCelticClub.com.
Photos provided by the Covington Celtic Club.