The quirky procession kicked off at noon just in front of host Conor O'Neill's Traditional Irish Pub & Restaurant, taking a short trip down 13th Street between Walnut and Spruce streets before turning around for a second pass.
“It's the shortest and greatest parade in existence and a great excuse to wear all the green in our wardrobe,” said Boulder's Kelly Bergman, a parade regular along with her husband and two kids. “It's awesome.”
Hundreds turned out for the parade, drawn by the warm weather and the spectacle.
Though brief, the parade covered all the traditional basics — a bagpipe band, motorcycles, an antique fire truck and two step-dancing troupes — plus well loved extras like the Paddy O'Furniture Drill Team.
The team of neighbors and friends is known for its crazy costumes — green wigs, oversized glasses, striped hats and tutus are popular choices — and dance moves using metal chairs choreographed to “We Will Shamrock You,” an Irish-tinged rendition of Queen's “We Will Rock You.”
Team members admitted to a limited amount of practice time, but promised to continue the tradition of a routine that's as silly as possible.
“We're solid,” said 11-year-old Charlie Evans as he waited to start. “It's going to be hilarious. It's so funny.”
While the parade is well loved locally, it's getting some heat elsewhere for its claim as the world's shortest.
Hot Springs, Ark., also lays claim to the shortest title, as does An Beal Bocht Cafe in New York and a 100-yard stretch between two pubs in Dripsey, Cork, Ireland. While Boulder's may not technically be the shortest in terms of distance, it may win out for the shortest in time, taking around 20 minutes.<
This year, Boulder's parade announcer took note of the challenge to its title, asking if Hot Springs could boast the world's smallest St. Patrick's Day floats. The tiny floats were created by a Boulder Outdoor Cinema team.
Megan Holschen, a Broomfield 11-year-old, incorporated a stuffed bunny and peeps into her float, while her brother, 10-year-old Ethan, went with spiderman and army men.
“It's really cool that a lot of people show up to such a short parade,” she said.
After the parade, Conor O'Neill's kept the parade spirit going Irish food, drinks, music and more dancing.
"It's a beautiful day and a great family event,” said Boulder's Peter Jordan, who brought his sons. “All the Irish of Boulder are here. It just feels like everybody knows everybody. We love it.”