A scene from a past St. Patrick's Day parade along Commercial Street in Springfield. (Photo: Downtown Springfield Association)

Hang on to that leprechaun’s hat you thought about discarding because the St. Patrick’s Day parade returns to Springfield on Saturday, March 11, after a three-year COVID absence.

The parade starts on Commercial Street and heads downtown. It was last held in 2019.

It was cancelled only three days before it was supposed to occur in March 2020.

The Springfield News-Leader reported at that time that a press release sent from organizers explained: “Concerns over the coronavirus informed our decision. As of today there are no discovered cases of COVID-19 in the Ozarks. We want to keep it that way.”

Instead, the 40th parade will be held in March 2023.

The parade features floats, classic cars, marching drummers and more.

Since the inaugural event in 1980, the parade had been managed by the Irish Festival Association. It is now managed by the Downtown Springfield Association.

The fun of ‘The People’s Parade’

“For four decades, a small group of passionate folks helped Springfield celebrate St. Patrick’s Day,” said David Trippe, in a press release from the Downtown Springfield Association.

Trippe is president of the Irish Festival Association.

“We had as much fun as all who participated in ‘The People’s Parade,’ and we are grateful to all who supported us,” Trippe said. “Wherever you go and whatever you do, may the luck of the Irish be there with you.”

The Downtown Springfield Association also manages the Downtown Springfield Christmas Parade.

Applications to be a part of the St. Patrick’s Day parade will open early next year.

For more information, call the Downtown Springfield Association at 417-831-6200.

Steve Pokin

Steve Pokin writes the Pokin Around and The Answer Man columns for the Springfield Daily Citizen. He also writes about criminal justice issues. He can be reached at spokin@sgfcitizen.org. His office line is 417-837-3661. More by Steve Pokin