When children hear the word parade, their eyes get wide and their smiles brighten. With decorated floats, elaborate costumes, and candy raining from the skies, parades offer one of the most exciting parts of a holiday for any child. On Saturday, children from all over the Region carried bags to Franklin Street in Michigan City, eager to get a glimpse of the fun and catch their favorite piece of candy. The annual Michigan City St. Patrick’s Day Parade brought the community together to enjoy an afternoon of celebration.
Generously sponsored by the City of Michigan City and the Michigan City Main Street Association, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade has become a highlight of the season for Michigan City residents.
Grand Marshal of the parade, the Marquette Girls’ Basketball State Champions, and the Parade Marshals, the Michigan City High School Football Team, helped to crank up the excitement as children cheered from the sidewalks in hopes of seeing their favorite groups and getting their favorite candies and treats.
Seven-year-old Eli rode on the float with his friends, family, and little brother in support of Discover & Explore Montessori Preschool, Inc.
“I’m so excited to be in the parade,” Eli said. “I love St. Patrick’s Day because leprechauns leave gold coins!”
Colton Pickens showed his support of Beach Bum Jewels of Michigan City by braving the cold weather shirtless. Beach Bum Jewels, a small business located on Franklin Street that specializes in authentic beach glass jewelry, was one of many businesses represented in the parade.
Pickens regularly attends the St. Patrick’s Day Parade to support small business. Pickens’ love for small business stemmed from his mother’s small shop on Franklin Street, Patina Vintage Goods.
“We were here last year with the same group, but it was a lot colder,” Pickens said. “The wind’s a little chilly this year, but hopefully when it calms down, it’ll be a great time where I get to represent Beach Bum Jewels.”
James Davis arrived early with his four-year-old son, Jasper, to get a great view of the parade. They were eager to cheer on Davis’ daughter as she walked with Paris House of Bridal & Fashion.
“We come most years,” Davis said. “It’s a great opportunity to see the political landscape and to get in touch with what’s going on with the community. We love to be out here to support Michigan City.”
“My favorite part is the candy!” Jasper said.
Seven-year-old Ava was excited to return to the parade with her friends. Alongside six-year-old Mae and seven-year-old Layla, Ava laughed as she struggled to get the perfect spot in the wind.
“I love that everyone has on a lot of green,” Ava said. “It’s awesome that people dress up like leprechauns.”
“I like that people throw out candy,” Mae said. “I just love chocolate! I hope My Little Pony is here.”
Layla proudly showed off her green unicorn shirt in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day.
“I love the people who are dressed up,” Layla said. “I hope someone throws me some Sour Patch Kids!”
In addition to the parade, several events were held in conjunction to bring further entertainment to the attendees. The Paddywagon offered free rides to several local businesses offering the best domestic and crafts of Michigan City. Lakefront Salon and Spa offered free green hair chalking and face painting. Hero’s Hotdogs offered food for hungry patrons on the corner of Franklin and 7th Street. After the parade, the Michigan City Public Library hosted a performance by magician Mat Kalita.
The Real Housewives of LaPorte County collected non-perishable food donations for the Food Bank of Northern Indiana. The donations collected will be reserved for La Porte County residents in need.
To further celebrate the efforts of the parade participants, awards were presented to the organizations in three categories: The Funniest, The Best Use of Green, and The Most Authentic Irish Concept.
This year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade showcased the strong sense of community in Michigan City and left the attending children big smiles and bags full of candy.