The Royal Court of Elmwood is greened for the St. Patrick's Day Parade on Saturday, March 16, 2019. Photo by Paul J. Seeling
The Royal Court of Elmwood is greened for the St. Patrick's Day Parade on Saturday, March 16, 2019. Photo by Paul J. Seeling

By Paul J. Seeling, Gateway News, with Debbie Baier of the Donnelly Clan

ELMWOOD, WI – St. Patrick’s Day this year was on Sunday, March 17, according to the calendar, but the real wearing of the green was celebrated on Saturday, March 16, in Elmwood, Wisconsin from 2 p.m. on.

This was the wonderful, very green Seventh Annual (of late) St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Celebration in Elmwood. This has become a tradition reinstated by the “Lucky Lady Leprechauns” of Elmwood seven lucky years ago.

The “Ladies” are sisters who have reestablished the tradition of a having an Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade once again in Elmwood. The Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade has grown larger and larger and more popular every year in the Elmwood community, and 2019 was certainly no exception.

Leprechaun Debbie Baier shared the story with the Sun-Argus how her mother; Arlene Donnelly, a grand 100 percent Irishwoman who began the St. Patrick’s Day Parade tradition years ago when she and a group of family and friends from the Elmwood and Spring Valley area decided to celebrate their Irish heritage by marching down Main Street in Elmwood. The group included such notables as: Father Becker, Doc and Marge Kaston and others of the “Irish” persuasion. The original parades were done in the 1980’s and then lapsed in the 90’s and are now back again!

Debbie was wearing a pair of bright orange knee-high boots along with the rest of her very green St. Patrick’s Day regalia. The orange boots were in honor of Clarence Huebel.

As Debbie reported it to the Sun-Argus; Clarence would come into the Coulee Drug on St. Patrick’s Day where Arlene the very 100 percent Irish Donnelly worked wearing a very orange (the orange-est he could find) shirt to try to get Arlene’s goat, who was always decked out in her finest green outfit for St. Patrick’s Day. It was a German vs. Irish thing or a Donnelly vs. Huebel thing…

As occurred last year, a good crowd gathered along the curbs of Main Street Elmwood believing they were really in Dublin, Ireland for the afternoon. They were all, young and old alike, decked out in their bright green outfits as a sea of kelly green outfitted marchers, and parade units made their way down blocks of Main Street that began with an Elmwood Police car escort followed by a shiny red and white Elmwood Fire Department truck.

Various Irish “clans” with signs proclaimed their family names. The Spring Valley Royalty waved from the back of their pickup, and leprechaun-dressed children waved beads and rode in wagons and more marched in the 32-degree sunshine of a lovely day for a St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Elmwood, Wisconsin.

As in past years when the parade concluded the real celebration of St. Patrick’s Day in Elmwood began in earnest.