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Annual Saint Patrick's Day Parade Kicks Off Spring

March 26, 2017       Leave a Comment
By: Stephen Kent

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SPRING! .... Finally? It seems like Spring has been here most of the "winter". Must be because after that first snow I went out and bought a new snow blower. You might know it, I only had one chance to use it and that was a couple of months after I bought it. Doesn't matter. SPRING IS HERE and the 63nd annual Bay City Saint Patrick's Day Parade hit the street to prove it!

If you've been to the parade before you know how it starts. The local and State Police lead the celebration followed by fire engines and ambulances, all with their sirens blaring at full volume. As they come between the churches and large buildings near downtown it just makes the din louder. But that's what everyone (or the kids at least) wait for. (if you wanna hear it, click on the Instagram movie link below)

Based on the huge crowds that came out for the parade you'd think it had been a hard winter and everyone just wanted outside to celebrate the warm weather. "This seemed to be the largest crowd in years,Temperature" said parade organizer Jan Rau. "We brought up the rear and there were as many people at the beginning as at the end. We estimated that there were 60,000 people, or more".

Not to tempt fate, but we have to say that days like last Sunday have been the rule for the annual parade for the last severThe temperature was mid 40's with a few puffy clouds in an otherwise clear sky. And there was no wind! You could hardly ask for a better day to get everyone outside.

We do have to mention one funny anecdote. There were a number of horses and riders in this year's parade. Just past the reviewing stand, in front of the Wirt Library, one of the horses "did his thing". This year there was no kid with a shovel and wagon following. As each of the next units approached, the crowd started yelling, pointing and laughing. Half dozen walkers and riders deftly skirted around the tribute to the horse and buggy days. Then along came a huge dump truck with a snow plow proudly hooked to the front. Hearing the yelling and seeing the "tribute", the driver, with a wave and a flourish, lowered his plow and scrapped the road. It didn't really clean the mess, but everyone cheered anyway.

As the last units passed the Library Jan Rau and her husband brought up the rear. She was very happy with the day as she visited with this reporter. Everyone had 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

A post shared by Steve Kent (@mmcctech47) on

Police and Fire lead off annual St. Patrick Day Parade.
(Click image to start and stop movie)

A post shared by Steve Kent (@mmcctech47) on

Bay City Central High Marching Wolves
The oldest continuous marching bank in the state.

(Click image to start and stop movie)

Crowds line Center Avenue like this for the full two mile parade route

Crowds line Center Avenue like this for the full two mile parade route


Spring makes everyone turn cartwheels!

How 'bout that ORANGE HAIR!

40&8 Vet prepares to fire his cannon. The boom could be heard for a mile!
(Do YOU know where the name 40&8 came from? GOOGLE it for some interesting history.)

One of many flag units in front of historic First Presbyterian Church

She just can't wait!

Our favorite Leprechaun is an annual fixture at the parade.

Every parade needs it's queens

Bay City Mayor Kathy Newsham

The Military was well represented

Hats and bowties show the spirit

Handing out beads

The Special Olympics bubble machine was a treat

Munger Potato Festival Court

The sign read "Lucky to have it all at All Saints"

I'd vote "best glasses" for the Hibernians piper.

Bay City Western High School Band

That had to get warm before the day was over

Trio sings from the "Oktoberfestbier" float

We're not sure if the beer maid who followed the "Oktoberfestbier" float was giving out samples

Michigan Bean Queen

Miss Michigan

Frankenmuth Credit Union's "BIG PIGGY BANK"


Anyone can walk if they have a costume

Muskegon Regional Police Pipes and Drums

Michigan Sugar Queen and Court

Everybody say CHEESE

Colonial Pipe and Drum Corp

Miss Bridge Fest

Watch it! He ain't taking no sass!

That's about half of the Standish Cheerleading All Stars

Here's the rest of the Standish Cheerleading All Stars

These cuties are starting early with the Miss Midwest Sweetheart pagent

Freemasons - "To Be One, Ask One"

Mason Jim Griffiths drives the group's van

Elf Khurafeh Mini Cars from Midland Area Shrine
How DO they get into and out of those things!

John Glen High School Band

Battle Balls

Chemical Bank

Beautiful Buick represents Denny's Collision

Girl Scouts

Cute kids are the real treat of the parade

Kids all have fun at a parade

Hi to you too!

Just too much excitement, I guess.

Jeepers Creepers Look'it Those Peepers!

Happy faces

Those must be prize winning chickens

Look at that!

Collecting candy

Chillin at the parade

Another happy face

Nice hat

Handing out candy

Show off that bow!

Brats and Dogs cooking outside First Presbyterian Church
A parade tradition!

Just too much to take in on an afternoon.

Riverdawgs Teamwork!

Good Makeup!

Celebrating 100 Years of Women's right to vote!

Parade of BIG RIGS near the end of the parade

Every parade needs horses

WOW! That's a great horse and rider.

Black Pearl "Rum Bar and Rok Grille"

Parade Organizer Jan Rau brought up the rear of another successful and fun
St. Patrick Day Parade in Downtown Bay City, Michigan

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February 10, 2020
by: Rachel Reh
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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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