• Cliff Grassmick

    Luke Regnier, 8, has the right attire and attitude for the day. He is part of the Paddy O'Furniture Drill Team. The annual Conor O'Neill's St. Patrick's Day Parade was held downtown along 13th Street in Boulder.

  • Participants in the annual World's Shortest St. Patrick's Day Parade marched the two-block stretch between Walnut and Spruce streets on Sunday in Boulder.



BOULDER, Colo. –

It took a couple of babies to get Kim and Matt Sorrell out of the bar and on to the street Sunday.

“Normally, we’re drinking in Conor O’Neill’s,” Kim Sorrell said, covering 1 1/2-month-old Shane from the occasional sun and slight breeze as the Paddy O’Furniture Drill Team marched along 13th Street clapping and swinging lawn chairs. “But we now have babies.”

Sorrel, from Nederland, said watching the annual World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade from the curb instead of from the interior of the raucous Irish bar gave her and her husband a wholly different perspective on the event.

“It’s a lot more kids, less crowded, and people are coherent and can carry on a conversation,” she laughed.

Which isn’t to say that things weren’t bustling in downtown Boulder Sunday, as a familiar cast of characters â the Rocky Mountain Irish Wolfhound Association, the Centennial State Pipes & Drums, and the Paul Roberts Guitar strummers â delighted a crowd of several hundred along the two-block stretch between Walnut and Spruce streets.

“Everyone’s in a very festive mood today,” said Patty Marsico, who dressed in green and astride a cruiser bicycle looked nothing less than enthusiastic her own self.

She eyed the entrance to Conor O’Neill’s with more than a little twinkle in her eye.

“Oh yeah, we’re going to drink a little, you know, celebrate St. Patty’s Day,” Marsico said.

Occasional fights broke out between rambunctious canines overwhelmed by the crush of humanity and the din of bagpipes, but for most it was green gear and smiles a mile wide.

“I haven’t missed it once,” said Steve Crider, of Boulder, who began watching the annual parade when it used to launch off in front of J.J. McCabe’s in the 1990s.

Crider said his 19-year-old daughter, Kelsey, attended her first parade when she was a year old.

“The tradition, the small-town feel,” he said reminiscently. “We still got something no one else has.”

Kelsey Crider kept her analysis of the green-tinged, bagpipe-inflected procession to three words.

“It’s really cool,” she said.

Pat Minehane, dressed as St. Patrick and leading the procession for the eight year in a row, said she does about eight parades a year dressed as the patron saint of Ireland.

“Parades are fun, especially when there are so many down things going on,” said Minehane, 73, her faux beard and mustache hiding her face. “Parades perk everyone up and put a smile on their faces.”

Archived comments

“Normally, we’re drinking in Conor O’Neill’s,” Kim Sorrell said.

Wow, that’s something to be proud of.


3/15/2009 5:41:30 PM

Any Irish droonk will tell ya Saint Paddy’s is on the 17th, yay, we’re willin’ to amuse you on the weekend!

Still…this year it’s Tuesdee!

To the looong weekend!-O


3/15/2009 8:34:18 PM

Orbison’s not going to remember anything for the next 72 hours.


3/15/2009 8:49:48 PM

To you, Doctor…whomever!


3/15/2009 8:56:37 PM

If you’re not careful you could wake up Wednesday morning with a seat on the City Council.


3/15/2009 9:06:37 PM

Dr-B – And a curse on your house, as well!;-}


3/15/2009 9:11:04 PM

Who comments on boring stories like this???Murders, drug busts and rapes are so much more entertaining.Geez……………….


3/16/2009 2:07:41 AM

For the love of Pete.This ain’t nothin’, folks!Try St. Patty’s day in Butte, MT.That there is the real deal.This is a just a bunch of fluff.But maybe it’s better than nothing to all the Greenies around here though.So fitting.I wonder if they got their kids edible and biodegradable costumes at Whole Foods.Unreal.God help us all.


3/16/2009 2:12:54 AM