Record crowd celebrates St. Patrick's Day in Crosslake
CROSSLAKE — Irish eyes were smilin’ Saturday in Crosslake as a record-breaking crowd turned out for the 38th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Celebration in Crosslake, Brainerd Lakes Area Chamber officials reported.
Crosslake Public Works Director Ted Strand estimated between 15,000 and 20,000 people were in town for the festivities. He said every road leading into Crosslake had vehicles parked on both sides extending for a half-mile past the parade route.
Hundreds participated in the 1.5-mile parade as there were more than 100 parade entries, which included multiple vehicles, floats and walkers for the two-hour event enjoyed by the green-clad masses who basked in the record-high temperatures.
Cindy Myogeto, Crosslake area director for the Brainerd Lakes Chamber, said the Crosslake St. Patrick’s Day event is a real benefit to Crosslake area businesses, as many lodging facilities, restaurants, retail shops, and bars, reported banner days with record-breaking sales.
“The Chamber sincerely thanks its members for their commitment to supporting this parade financially and to volunteering hundreds of hours to create this event for the entire community to enjoy,” Myogeto said. “This beloved community celebration would not be possible without our generous sponsors and our dedicated committee volunteers.”
Myogeto also thanked Strand and his crew for a fantastic job sweeping the streets, filling potholes and preparing for the parade.
Crosslake Fire Chief Chip Lohmiller reported serving more than 450 people, a record number, at the pancake breakfast. He noted the Crosslake First Responders were stationed along the parade route and reported no incidents.
The Crosslake Welcome Center greeted visitors from as far as Grand Forks, Valley City, and Fargo, N.D., as well as the Minneapolis and St. Paul areas. The parade has become an annual spring celebration enjoyed by generations of families.
The 2012 Best in Float honors were awarded to Moonlite Bay, first place; Emily Greens, second place; Lake Country Crafts & Cones, third place, and Girl Scouts Troop 650, first place, youth division. The first place traveling trophy will be presented to Moonlite Bay on March 24 at the St. Patrick’s Day Raffle Drawing Party at Maucieri’s, 34650 County Road 3, Crosslake.
This year’s parade float judges were the former Ms. Blarneys: 2008 Colleen Murray, 2009 Dana Buranen, and 2011 Anna Anderson.
The WJJY Enthusiasm Award was presented to Ultimate Martial Arts with honorable mention presented to R.A. Heales & Associates Investigations with The Dru’s Voice Crew.
The Pot O’ Gold Treasure was found about 9:40 a.m. Saturday, March 17, about 40 minutes after the last clue was posted, by Nathan, Jennifer, Ella, and Lauren Krause, and David and Judy Jackson, of Cottage Grove. They earned $100 in Chamber Bucks for finding the treasure on the Sunrise Island Bridge of Echo Bay.
The 39th Annual Crosslake St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Celebration will be Saturday, March 16, 2013.
The Brainerd Lakes Chamber operates offices in Brainerd, Crosslake, Pequot Lakes, and the Welcome Center on Highway 371 South of Brainerd, and online at explorebrainerdlakes.com.