Shamrock and Roll: St. Patrick's Day Parade is Saturday

Shamrock and Roll: St. Patrick's Day Parade is Saturday
A float finds the end of the rainbow and a pot of gold during the 2017 St. Patrick's Day parade.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Get your green ready. Over 100,000 people are expected to flock to the Highlands for the 45th annual St. Patrick's Day parade on Saturday.

The parade begins in the Highlands neighborhood at 3 p.m.. It marks the unofficial celebration of St. Patrick's Day, or 'Irish weekend', throughout Louisville.

Shamrock and Roll is the theme for 2018.

About 150 Irish-themed floats, groups and decorated vehicles will launch from Baxter Avenue and Broadway, then proceed along the Baxter and Bardstown Road corridor. Windsor Place marks the end of the parade route. No word on whether or not a pot of gold will be there.

"The St. Patrick's Day parade is one of the greatest times in the city. It gets bigger and bigger every year as well. Everybody's an Irish person during this week," Ancient Order of the Hibernians President John O'Dwyer said.

The official end of the parade is 6 p.m., but green-wearing party goers usually celebrate Irish culture until the wee hours of the morning. Sirens, selkies, merrows, leprechauns and banshees are welcome to participate in the festivities.

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"You know, we call it the 'people's parade' because it is the people's parade. They get a warm heart about it, you see the best of the city come out and people just enjoy being with each other," Mayor Greg Fischer said.

Restaurants and bars in the Highlands will offer Irish-themed menus, cocktails, bands and other celebratory Celtic events all day (and night) on Saturday.

Councilman Brandon Coan (D-8) will host the 'Planting O' the Green' event in honor of parade day. Volunteers will plant 45 trees in District 8, which includes the Highlands. District 6 will also plant 45 trees in the Old Louisville neighborhood with Councilman David James (D-6).

The Ancient Order of Hibernians organizes and hosts the parade every year. They kicked off Irish weekend with a 'Blessing of the Keg and Blessing of the Bottle' at Goodwood Brewing on Thursday.

March is Irish-American Heritage Month in Kentucky.

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