Leavenworth will be going green on Wednesday as the 27th annual Leavenworth St. Patrick’s Day
Leavenworth will be going green on Wednesday as the 27th annual Leavenworth St. Patrick’s Day Parade is scheduled to take place.
Darlene Kenny, a member of the parade’s planning committee, said there are currently at least between 50 and 75 entries in the parade, including family floats and more horses than previous years.
“We have quite a variety,” Kenny said.
Following the standard route set by the police department, the parade itself will begin at noon on Wednesday. Kenny said those who are participating are asked to line up no earlier than 11 a.m., as the Leavenworth Police Department will be blocking the streets at that time.
This year’s grand marshal is Sister Jeanne Marie Zeugin of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth — a 95-year-old Leavenworth resident whose family has Irish roots and has participated many times in the parade over the years.
In addition to a chance for the city to show its Irish side, Kenny said the parade is a fundraising event for area charities. She said that tradition started in 1986, two years after the first parade, when the committee raised more money than it needed to pay for expenses. As a non-profit, Kenny said that money could not be kept. So she said the committee eventually decided to donate the leftover funds to the St. Vincent Clinic in Leavenworth, a medical care facility that serves uninsured low-income patients.
“The great part about that is that I know a couple of people over the years who have gone to St. Vincent and they have thanked me personally,” she said.
That first donation was for $500. Since then, Kenny said the committee has donated more than $55,000 to area charities raised from the sale of T-shirts and an Irish Concert. The charities have also grown to include both the Alliance Against Family Violence and the Leavenworth Assistance Center in addition to St. Vincent. Though not always the focus of the festivities, Kenny said it’s still important to benefit the community.
“If we can do that, we’re happy to,” she said.