Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day, and where better to be green than at the largest St. Patrick's celebration on the Emerald Coast, the 11th annual 30A St. Patrick's Parade and Festival scheduled for March 17. The parade kicks off at 2 p.m. and the festival at 3 p.m. at Arnett's Gulfside Farm and Stables in Santa Rosa Beach. The entertainment after the parade will start with the Drake School of Irish dance, followed by an afternoon of Irish jigs and reels with The O'Mericans Celtic Band.
There will be an array of activities for the kids and adults, including face painting, best dressed pet, Best Redhead (girl), Best Pirate (boy), 30 foot slides, and much more. Food vendors will have traditional corned beef and cabbage and green beer available.
Tickets, $10 for adults, $5 for children, and free for children 4 and under, are available at www.30aparade.com. Sponsor and vendor spaces also available on the website.
The parade begins on County Hwy. 30A and heads four miles west, ending at County Road 393 near Gulf Place. Walton County Commissioner Tony Anderson will be this year's Grand Marshal.
"Every year surpasses the previous in imagination and effort in decorating the various parade entries," said Paul Vizard, event founder. "To see the faces of joy on the kids and spectators is just fantastic, I am very grateful for the support of our sponsors and the community."
The Best in Parade perpetual trophy is up for grabs for the best decorated car, truck or float, won last year by ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals. Festival goers can purchase commemorative T-shirts, experience arts and crafts, kids activities, face painting, and of course a variety of food and drinks. A few sponsor spots, vendor table and tent spaces are still available, and businesses are encouraged to be a sponsor, details at www.stpatricks30a.com.