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First Day of Spring Opens with Annual Saint Patricks Day Parade

Downtown Bay City Alive with runners and walkers followed by big parade

March 20, 2016       Leave a Comment
By: Stephen Kent

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Today was a "twofer" combining the First Day of Spring and the 62nd annual Bay City Saint Patrick's Day Parade. As usual, the Citizens of our fine city were out by the thousands to celebrate the day and just have a great old time!

Watch the parade on Bay3TV:

The day started as usual with the annual run/walk. Participants from far and wide showed up to do their thing. Being a walker (at best), this reporter saved his energy for walking the parade route. But was well represented with the editor doing the walk and a few family members participating as well. (We did notice that Emily, shown at right, was riding in the back of the pickup, not walking when the Haunted Temple float came by.)o

In many ways, it was a mirror of last year's parade. The temps were almost exactly the same, with bright skies and light wind. This reporter was facing into the light breeze as he walked against the grain taking pictures or the parade and crowd. The light jacket and vest, plus a knit hat, felt pretty good. After a little more than a mile and a quarter it was time to turn around and boogie back downtown. Going with the wind it didn't take long for the "hat" to come off. By the time I was back at the office by the county building, I was sweating.

Last weekend, parade organizer Jan Rau was the speaker for the Bay County Historical Society's monthly (free) Second Saturday talk. Because the Museum staff was at the Planetarium putting on the regional Michigan History Day, Jan's talk was held in the big theater with slides projected on the huge dome. It was a great program with lots of good pictures from the last 62 years and many fun stories... for example.

Did you know there has been more than one wedding held in conjunction with the parade? After one of these weddings, Jan said the newlywed couple was to ride down the parade route in a white carriage pulled by a horse. As it turned out, the horse selected was a draft animal and just a little too large for the carriage. He got excited and in short order broke the traces. "Well, it's pretty easy to walk a horse off the parade route, but not so much to get a carriage out of the way," Jan said. Fortunately, some enterprising parade volunteers had just the solution. They all grabbed the carriage tongue and proceeded to pull the carriage the rest of the way with brute manpower.

As a point of interest, Jan Rau is also a key organizer of the River of Time held as the last festival of Bay City's summer. She seems to kick things off in the Spring and wrap it all up in the Fall.

We didn't see any problems this year's parade. Everyone seemed to have a great time and things came off just fine. Enjoy this collection of photos from the day and send a link to your friends and relatives. is read worldwide. It's fun to show others how we enjoy ourselves each spring.

Just for the fun of it, you might want to check out these St. Pat's stories from previous years. It's interesting just to see how digital cameras have evolved since 2002:
For another take on the subject of parades, check out what was going on in 1978 in this 1978 Flashback article from the archives of the Bay County Sports Page & Bay City Enterprise newspapers. Published from 1976 through 1984, those papers were the "grandparents" of today's

I think she's ready!

The crowd is certainly ready

Mickey and Minnie are ready

And here comes the parade with public safety officers at the head!

American Legion 40&8 fire their cannon as the locomotive steams down the road.

Parade Marshals Jerry and Sue Blondin

St. Patrick's Day Parade Queen and Court

Just this morning the paper noted that Pedal Trollies are approved to serve beer this year!
The commissioners do look kinda happy to be peddaling.

We told Charlie Brunner and Jim Barcia that if all the politicians gave hugs like that
they'd get elected every time.

Cadets show the colors.

Miss Bay County Ashli Maser and Outstanding Teen Larissa Hollingsworth

The Bay City Central High Band sounded great!
(But I was on the committee that bought those uniforms, and I don't rember the glasses.)

Super kids have a super day

Sparky poses with the kids

Lou E. Loon mascot to the Great Lakes Loons baseball team.

Little League boys os summer

That's the spirit!

The Tummy Ache Candy Van

A dress made from Frooties bags, now that's original!

Montrose Blueberry Festival Princess Alexis Rush and Queen Kara Shelton

Munger Potato Festival Court Kayla Ratajczak and Marlee Curnutt
Queen Paige Lupcke

Wil-Lew Lounge float participants celebrate the day.

St. Stans has the best Irish Theme

Auburn Glen School of Highland Dance

Probate Judge John Keuvelaar and a great old car.

Chemical Bank's Big Piggy Bank

Relaxing on the Second Baptist Church float

Bay City Western High School Band

Excellent, straight lines. Good job WHS Band

That seems to say it all.

Those strong women danced the whole way! I got tired just watching.

Mason tosses candy to kids.'s Josh Sharrow drives with Johnny in back.
Be sure to catch the Johnny and Blondie show on the internet

Ancient Order of Hibernians fly their colors

Another really good looking classic car represents Denny's Collision.

Kendra Lodewyk, Miss Auburn / Midland's Outstanding Teen

Revolutionary War Era Fife and Drums

Medusa's Snakes were moving all around on the Haunted Temple float
This Halloween's theme will be Monsters of Myth

Little Princess

Bay City Fireworks Queen Bre Jean, Jr. Miss Rachel Gonsler,
Little Miss Mahalie Clay, Lil'Miss Firecracker Lauren Vandriessche

Bay City All-Stars and Elite Cheerleading

Michigan Apple Queen Sara Reisinger and Court Hannah Rasch

St. Patty Green Harley

Michigan Sugar Queen Riley Smith
Attendants Briley Harder and Leah Thornton

Shouldn't she be saying "Kiss me, I'm Irish".

Pack 3157 - Cub Scouts

Tower and Zip line built by the Boy Scouts

Pilot in Command

John Glen High School Marching Band

Yes! We do like the kilt.

Bay City Police Officer Krzyminski

Had to do a double take at that beard

Somebody's having fun.

Nice hats

Having fun

I want one of those umbrellas

And Hi to you too!

Kids were all having fun.

Now that's getting into the swing of things.

One of the better vantage points.

Girl Scouts were handing out candy

Enjoying the day and collecting candy.

Man, that hotdog looks good.

It says "Why Knots". I almost bought one on the spot.

I see you too

What more can we say. Everyone is having a good day!

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Stephen Kent

Steve Kent and his family have lived in Bay City for 40 years. He is VP of Technical Services at MMCC which produces MyBayCity.Com. Kent is active in many Bay City civic organizations.

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