Break out your green: The Muskegon St. Patrick’s Day Parade is set for Saturday, March 16

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The 8th annual Muskegon St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be held Saturday, March 16, and the celebration of Muskegon County’s Irish heritage is expected to draw hundreds of marchers and thousands of spectators to the city’s downtown.

Kicking off at 11am, the parade will start at 4th Street and Clay Avenue and will head east along Clay to Jefferson Street. The event is sponsored by Hennessy’s Irish Pub and Restaurant and the Greater Muskegon Jaycees.

“This is our eighth year sponsoring the Muskegon St. Patrick’s Day Parade and it’s getting bigger and better every year,” Nancy Hennessy, the owner of Hennessy’s Pub in downtown Muskegon, said in a press release.

Event organizers are still accepting additional marchers and floats to register for the parade. The only cost to march or sponsor a float is a non-perishable food donation to benefit Catholic Charities West Michigan Food Pantry. The Greater Muskegon Jaycees will also be accepting food donations from parade viewers.

Families, organizations, fraternal groups, businesses, marching bands, churches, and schools are invited to march in the event.

“We’re inviting families to march in the parade again too, to represent their Irish roots with banners and posters identifying their ‘home county’ back in Ireland,” Mike Hennessy, Nancy Hennessy’s husband and the owner and general manager of Hennessy’s Pub, said in the same press release.

Muskegon Jaycees President Brennan Gorman emphasized the parade’s role in supporting families struggling to make ends meet.

“The Greater Muskegon Jaycees are excited to have been one of the groups that started the Parade in 2012 and we’re excited to continue to be involved in the 8th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, a great family event that also helps people in need throughout the county,” Gorman said in the press release.

To register for the parade, contact the Greater Muskegon Jaycees at parade@muskegonjaycees.org, or complete a  registration form on the Muskegon St. Patrick’s Day Parade website at  www.jcimuskegon.org/theparade.

Parade staging area will be in the Western Avenue parking lot between 4th and 5th Streets, across from the Walker Arena, and the general public is encouraged to line Clay Avenue along the parade route to enjoy the festivities.

The Barley Saints will be one of numerous bands to perform at Hennessy’s during the St. Patrick’s Day weekend. Photo via the Barley Saints

Throughout the weekend, Hennessy’s is offering a full slate of St. Patrick’s events. The Hennessy’s festivities will be held as follows:

Friday, March 15

8pm-11pm: Legal Rehab

Saturday, March 16

12pm-3pm: Gypsy Circus

4:30m-7:30pm: Colton Snuffer

9:30pm-12:30am: Conklin Ceili Band

Sunday, March 17

12pm: 45th annual  Irish flag-raising ceremony with the Muskegon Irish American Society, takes places in the pub’s parking lot.

12pm-3pm: Uneven Ground

4pm-7pm: Barley Saints

Monday, March 18

6:30pm-9:30pm: Father Matt’s (St. Mary’s) Annual St. Pat’s Charity event

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