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Area towns to celebrate St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day

LUVERNE -- Did you know blue was once the color associated with Saint Patrick, or that the three-leaved shamrock was used by the patron saint of Ireland to explain the Holy Trinity to the pre-Christian Irish people?

Saint Patrick's Feast Day was created on the liturgical calendar in the early 1600s as a day when the Irish could forgo their Lenten obligations and celebrate with meat and drink.

Some of the largest St. Patrick's Day festivals are now celebrated in the United States, with several area communities gathering up their Irish and Irish-for-a-day folks to celebrate with parades, Reuben sandwiches and plenty of green attire.

A St. Patrick's Day parade will begin at 4:30 p.m. Thursday in downtown Luverne. Anyone is welcome to take part in the parade by meeting in the Sears parking lot at 4 p.m.

"It can be anything from a motorcycle to a business (entry)," said organizer Amy Vande Voort. "The kids get a lot of candy."

The parade is fairly short -- averaging about 10 minutes, covering five city blocks -- and features Toby Donth as King of the Leprechauns and Peggy Adams as Queen of the Shamrocks. The two were selected at a recent Auxiliary meeting.

"Toby does a lot in the community with his church, and he's just an all-around great guy," Vande Voort said. "Peggy is with the Luverne Area Community Foundation."

The royalty are not required to be Irish, she added. Junior royalty are Janae Kopp and Camron Kopp, who are half-Irish, said Vande Voort added.

Following the parade, the Luverne Eagles Club will serve a Reuben special from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., with happy hour from 4 p.m. to close. Green beer will be served, and Bingo will also be playing that evening.

Pipestone will celebrate its 18th annual St. Patrick's Day celebration with a 4:30 p.m. parade on Main Street, beginning at Third Avenue Southwest and continuing to Third Avenue Southeast. Prizes will be awarded for first- and second-place parade entries, and winners will be announced following the parade at Cally's Lounge in the Calumet Inn.

Mary Morrison is grand marshal for the parade.

Mick Myers, director of the Pipestone Chamber of Commerce, said the parade will be followed with an hour of Irish storytelling, songs and merriment. The Calumet Inn will host a traditional Irish buffet from 5 to 7 p.m., while the American Legion will host a traditional Irish dinner. The Legion will also host the Larry Olson band from 7:30 to 10 p.m.

In Adrian, the community's Irish frolickers will gather for a 6 p.m. parade down Maine Avenue, leading from Adrian Auto for a two-block route.

"Anybody can come and walk in the parade," said Cindy Vortherms, organizer. "We will have balloons and candy available."

Two large clans -- the Eagans and the Metzes -- have kept the tradition alive in Adrian for several years, each family taking turns to plan the annual parade.

"We keep encouraging more clans to come," Vortherms added.

Julie Buntjer

Julie Buntjer joined the Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism. Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at

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