St. Patrick’s Day celebration: Middletown to host inaugural parade

Dozens of groups expected to take part in new event to ‘build community,’ organizer says.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

The city of Middletown is gearing up for its first St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

“St. Patrick’s Day is always a big holiday, encouraging community and fellowship across the world,” said Jeri Lewis, community projects coordinator for the city of Middletown. “This year, Middletown is getting in on the action that will bring together residents, visitors and businesses for a night of Irish fun.”

The Saturday, March 16, parade is expected to be large and will feature the Butler County Sheriff’s Office Pipe and Drum Corp and Cincinnati Caledonian Pipes & Drums, and more than 30 other groups or floats, such as Little Miss Butler County, Steel City Pizza Go Carts, MidPointe Library System, Butler County Sheriff’s Office Mounted Patrol, Middletown Divisions of Police and Fire, Downtown Middletown Inc., the Girl Scouts and more.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

The St. Patrick’s Parade will step off at 4 p.m. from Curtis Street and Central Avenue and travel toward downtown along Central and conclude at Governor’s Square at Central Avenue and Broad Street. It’s the same route as the Santa Parade.

Following the parade, there will be a series of festivities at participating restaurants and establishments downtown. Many businesses will offer specials until 9 p.m., and some will remain open past 9 p.m.

A free St. Patty’s Day “passport” will be available at the “city tent” at Governor’s Square. It includes a map and all of the participating locations and addresses along with featured food and drink items. Participants can mark off all the restaurants and establishments they visit throughout the evening. Passports can be turned in by 8 p.m. at Governor’s Square for a chance to win a St. Patrick’s Day prize package that includes a T-shirt, a hat, festive beads and more.

There will be a DJ from 4 to 9 p.m. at Governor’s Square and strolling street/music performers in the downtown area.

Also in Governor’s Square, children can play games and build leprechaun traps to take home (available on a first-come, first-serviced basis), there will be a dance-off circle, and those who dress in St. Patrick’s Day costumes will have a chance to be awarded a medal. Plus, there will be a photo booth set up to capture all of the memories.

Those who enjoy the Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) are encouraged to designate a driver or use a taxi or ride share service.

Participating bars and restaurants include Primo Italian Steakhouse, The Swire Inn, The Slice Pie Middletown, West Central Wine, White Dog Distilling Co., At the Square, DC Roadhouse, Merkel’s Tavern on Central, N.E.W. Ales Brewing, Mz. Jade’s SoulFood, and Gravel Road Brewing.

“There’s already such an excitement and a buzz around the parade and festivities, so we are expecting a great turnout,” said Lewis. “It’s really just another event for the community to get together and have fun.”

“It’s important that the community comes out to this event, and all events, because it builds community among our residents, and it allows everyone to spend time together,” Lewis said. “That’s the beauty of events. They are fun, and there’s no pressure. They don’t have to plan it, they can come and just be a part of the community, together.”

How to go

What: St. Patrick’s Day Parade and festivities in downtown Middletown

When: March 16, parade steps off at 4 p.m., with activities immediately following the parade.

Where: Downtown Middletown

Cost: Free. Food, drinks, and other items will be available for purchase.

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