By JESSIE HORTON
DUBLIN (March 2, 2015) — The Irish Capital of Texas, Erath County’s Dublin, will host their 32nd annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration beginning with a kick-off concert featuring some of Dublin’s most talented musicians including Luke Wade and No Civilians.
According to Dublin Chamber of Commerce Director Luanne Schexnider, this year’s event will combine the “traditional festival everyone has come to love – good food, great shopping, pageants and, of course, the grand parade – with unprecedented events like adding a little Mardi Gras fun to the Irish shenanigans, a vintage car show, a gun show and lots of live music.”
A music festival will get things rolling Friday, March 13, with Turngold Music Series presenting Luke Wade and No Civilians at the baseball field in the Dublin City Park. Schexnider and Dublin Mayor David Leatherwood said acclaimed guitarist, vocalist and Dublin City Councilman Layne Golden will open for Wade and No Civilians.
General admission tickets are still available for $15 and a few VIP passes are still available for $30 each, and can be purchased online at www.dublintxchamber.com. Tunes begin at 7:30 p.m. and city officials confirmed beer and wine will be available for purchase during the festival. Purchases will require proof of age through verified identification cards, and all spirits must be kept inside the ballpark fence lines, officials said.
The Project Graduation 5K Color Run will kickstart Saturday, March 14, with check-in at 7 a.m. and the race starting at 8 a.m. behind Dublin Bottling Works, 105 E. Elm Street. Runners will also finish in this location. Registration is available online at www.racedayeventservices.com. Participants will compete in four age-group categories: Under 12; 12-21; 21-40 and 40-plus. Pre-registration is available for $20 for 17 and under, and $30 for 18-plus. Registration on the day of the race is an additional $5.
Doors open at 9 a.m. for the Tier 1 Gun and Knife Show in the Rotary Building (located at the corner of Blackjack and N. Grafton Streets) in downtown Dublin. Schexnider said the Tier 1 staff promised “a wide selection of competitively-priced, high-quality inventory, products and services offered by exhibitors who are fair, knowledgeable, professional and courteous.”
And when you’ve finished at the Rotary Building, the vintage car displays will be set up just following the parade in Wright Park and at Dublin Bottling Works, within walking distance from the gun and knife show.
But the gun and knife show isn’t the only shopping going on in downtown Dublin during the celebration. Schexnider said all kinds of fun shopping will be going on in Dublin during the weekend.
“Local shops and restaurants are offering special promotions all during the weekend,” she said. “Arts, crafts and food vendors will be setup at the Furniture Depot building, 126 S. Patrick Street, at Wright Historical Park Pavilion, the Corner Lot (at the corner of Patrick and Blackjack Streets) and Dublin Bottling Works. Dublin’s five museums (Dublin Historical Museum; Ben Hogan Museum, Dublin Bottling Works’ W.P. Kloster Annex; Old Doc’s Soda Shop & Museum and Dublin Rodeo Heritage Museum) will be open following the parade and are within walking distance.”
But don’t get too distracted by all the awesome goodies along downtown, because at 10 a.m. the entire community will head to the streets for the annual St. Patrick’s Celebration parade. This year the parade will carry the Mari Gras theme, with floats from local organizations, businesses and individuals handing out beads, wearing masks and costumes related to the carnival celebration, Schexnider said.
The parade will start at the Dublin Memorial Stadium parking lot on E. Travis Street and head south on Patrick Street, turning left on Elm Street to finish. Schexinder is still accepting entries for the parade. She said anyone wishing to participate can register by obtaining a parade form from the Chamber offices, located at 111 S. Patrick Street, or online at dublintxchamber.com. Entry fees are a canned or nonperishable food donation for the local food bank. All items will be collected at the sing-in location on parade day.
Other festivities scheduled downtown for March 14 include a coronation ceremony presented by the Dublin Pageant Ambassador Program and local business Southern Charm at 11:30 a.m. at Dublin’s famed Corner Lot. The 2015 Miss Dublin Court (to-be-crowned March 12-13 at Dublin’s old Junior High Auditorium, 407 N. Camden) will be welcomed at the Corner Lot’s gazebo. Refreshments will be provided afterward at Southern Charm, 109 S. Patrick, with help from the Dublin Garden Club.
Several other afternoon events will take place on the Dublin Bottling Works stage and at Wright Park, including a costume contest; dog show; Auntie Em Dancers; Dublin Secondary School’s Dandi-Lion Drill Team and Dublin Band; the Dublin Clover Leaf Square dancers; the Texas Tornados and more entertainment and fun activities currently being scheduled.
Events planned at Dublin’s City Park March 14 include the Summertime Amusement Carnival (gates open at 11 a.m.); the Cowboy Capital Roller Derby Girls start their season at the City Park Pavilion at 3:30 p.m. and the Fifth Annual Bulls & Broncs Shootout starts at 7 p.m. at the City Park Arena.