Excitement was high in Michigan City on Saturday as residents gathered along Franklin Street for their annual Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. After a one year hiatus in 2017, popular demand led the Michigan City Mainstreet Association and Johnny Stimley to bring it back, along with a lineup of 117 participating people and organizations.
The Mainstreet Association and Marquette Catholic High School’s Lady Blazers were co-grand marshals for the parade. The Main Street Association, who also hosted, led from the front, while the girls basketball State Champions closed things out.
“Every time we have the opportunity to bring an event to the city that lets people come out and celebrate living here is positive, and we’re happy to be a part of that,” said Abby May, a member of the Mainstreet Association’s board of directors. “Michigan City has such a great culture and sense of community. Doing events like this is another opportunity to celebrate being part of such a special community.”
Local businesses got in on the fun with Hero’s Hot Dogs and Momma Sue’s Catering and Cafeteria feeding the many hungry residents. 7 Mainstreet Merchants, Patina Vintage Goods, the Nest Michigan City, Nest Number 4, the Closet by Franklin Vintage, Hoity-Toity, Midnight Owl Boutique, and Beach Bum Jewels all collected nonperishable food as part of the Real Housewives of LaPorte County’s food drive. Everything came together to showcase Michigan City’s incredible community.
“We’re proud and excited to add the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade to the list of events the Mainstreet Association brings to the community,” said May.
The event gradually became part of Michigan City tradition over the years, so families were excited to see the event return. Many new parents brought their young children to the event for the first time, eager to share an experience they had known while growing up.
“We used to come a lot before the baby so it’s nice to bring him out so he can enjoy it too,” said Kristy Hahn. “It’s nice to have a community event where people can get together and have a good time. It’s family friendly!”
Other parents swelled with pride as their kids marched in the parade with various different organizations. Some showcased their talents through dancing and cheering, others embraced causes or politicians they support by carrying banners. The parade celebrated not only St. Patrick’s day, but everything that makes Michigan City such a unique place.
“My daughter was in the parade representing Marquette Women’s Basketball,” said John Marovich, who is also head coach of Valparaiso University’s women’s soccer. “Anything you can do to bring your community together is a great thing so that we can celebrate goodness. You see all the kids walking in the parade and all the different things that they do. That’s what’s great about this, I got to see kids dancing – and that’s their passion.”