Tradition sticks for St. Patrick's Day parade in St. Paul - KMSP-TV

Tradition sticks for St. Paul's St. Patrick's Day parade this year

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

A St. Paul mainstay, the 48th annual St. Patrick's Day parade will commence at noon on Monday after Mayor Chris Coleman proposed it be moved to Saturday. This year, tradition will stick, but that could change next year.

PHOTOS: Check out this afternoon's festivities

Parade organizers and other parade goers, however, are against the idea, saying the city isn't footing the bill anyway.

"Keep St. Paul green on 3/17!" said one green-clad woman in the crowd.

"The whole association goes out and sells buttons for $3," Dan O'Gara, owner of O'Gara's Bar and Grill, told Fox 9 News last week. "Those buttons pay for the whole parade -- street closures, the police enforcement, the bathrooms -- everything that it takes to put that parade on. Whatever money is left goes to local charities."

Part of Coleman's reasoning is consistent with some local business owners who think a Saturday parade would translate to more sales.

Read more: Letter from Coleman

"Make no mistake, Saint Patrick's Day is March 17 – that will never change. People will always come to Saint Paul on that day to celebrate, myself included, and this city will always be ready to receive them. But by allowing the parade—a defining Saint Paul tradition—to be on a day when everyone can celebrate, we are creating an inclusive, family-friendly and business-boosting celebration in addition to our normal Saint Patrick's Day festivities," the letter reads, in part.

Fox 9's Kelcey Carlson has been named Celebrity Grand Marshal and will join Grand Marshal KFAN's Common Man Dan Cole, Distinguished Irish Woman Katie McMahon and Sports Grand Marshal Stu Voigt in the parade.

Cash donations will go to Minnesota FoodShare to be distributed to 300 local food shelves. Food donations will be given to the Dorothy Day center in St. Paul.

FREE SOBER RIDES

Miller Lite and Metro Transit are teaming up to offer free rides home on St. Patrick's Day.
For schedule and route information, visit www.MillerLiteFreeRides.com.

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