If you weren’t feeling too lucky in March, Visit Hot Springs has a solution — during spooky season. The First Ever Second 17th Annual World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade and its accompanying festivities will be held October 16-17 on Bridge Street in downtown Hot Springs.
The original March 17 parade, “famed internationally as one of the zaniest events anywhere,” was affected by the COVID-19 virus pandemic, according to a press release.
“We did actually have a parade on March 17,” said Bill Solleder, marketing director for Visit Hot Springs. “But it wasn’t the gigantic celebration we had planned. Actually, it was just me and fellow parade organizer, Alexis Hampo, who marched 98 feet on Bridge Street to maintain the tradition of holding our little parade on St. Patrick’s Day.”
The parade-planning team is working to bring back celebrities and participants who would have been involved in March.
“We’ll be in touch with all of them in the coming days to see what their schedules will permit,” Solleder said.
The parade has gained international fame for attracting more than 30,000 fun-loving spectators to downtown Hot Springs to watch an array of celebrities, marchers, floats, strutters, Irish Elvis impersonators, dancers, Irish wolfhounds, waddlers and leprechauns march down 98-foot-long Bridge Street, the World’s Shortest Street in Everyday Use, according to Ripley’s Believe It or Not.
“It will be the party of the year, maybe of the decade,” said Steve Arrison, CEO of Visit Hot Springs and one of the founders of the parade, which began in 2003.