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Annual Cottleville St. Patrick’s tradition returns with parade, Run for the Helmet

The 2017 Cottleville St. Patrick’s Parade [www.stpatparade.org]

For one lucky day, on March 17, runners and spectators will take to the streets of Cottleville to celebrate a decade of turning the town green.

A local tradition since its creation in 2008, the Cottleville St. Patrick’s Day parade has become one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in all of St. Charles County with more than 100 floats and a rising number of annual spectators.

“The whole scope has gotten bigger,” Mayor Jim Hennessey said. “The number of floats has gotten so big that we’ve had to limit it.”

According to Tom Smoot, director of the annual Run for the Helmet 7K,  the run and parade take about six months of preparation with the registration process opening as early as October.

“This is our 10th year, so things come together fairly efficiently,” Smoot said,

At 8 a.m. on March 17, the annual Run for the Helmet event commences with a 7K [4.35-mile] run and a 2-Mile Fun Run. The 7K takes place on a course certified by Fleet Feet and with RFID “chip” timing and same day results. The 2-Mile Fun Run is a casual, untimed event. Strollers and pets are prohibited.

Standard registration for the 7K ended March 1; however, late registration [$40 per runner] remains open through March 16. Late registrants are not guaranteed a race T-shirt or preferred size if shirts are available. Registered runners can pick up their T-shirts and packets from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. March 15-16 at Cottleville Fire Station #1.

The race begins near Cottleville Fire Station No. 1, 1385 Motherhead Road, and finishes with a post-race party at Bemo’s, 5373 Hwy. N. The awards ceremony is expected at 9:30 a.m. near the finish line. Awards will be given to the top male and female overall winners in individual age categories from children to seniors.

The Cottleville St. Patrick’s Day tradition run route and shuttle stops [www.stpatparade.org]

Open parking for the run is available only until 7 a.m. when the parade route – and related parking – closes to vehicle traffic. Road closures take place on Motherhead Road, Hwy. N and Weiss Road. However, a shuttle service is offered as follows:
• Service: 6:30-7:30 a.m.
• No Service: 7:30-9:30 a.m. [during run] • Service: 9:30-11:30 a.m.
• No Service: 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. [during parade] • Service: After parade until 4 p.m.

Accessible parking for the event is located at Francis Howell Central High off Hwy. N. Parking at any other business or private property without permission is prohibited, and vehicles will be towed at owner’s expense.

Shuttle pick-up parking is at St. Charles Community College, 4601 Mid Rivers Mall Drive. Shuttle pick-up and drop-off locations are at Cottleville Wine Seller [5314 Hwy. N], Bemo’s and the Cottleville Fire Station No. 1. Attendees also should note that no large coolers or items are allowed on the shuttles, as the vehicles cannot accommodate anything large.

In addition to floats, the Cottleville St. Patrick’s Parade features amenities such as local food trucks, booths and tents for patrons to explore along the walkway.

The parade steps off at noon on Weiss Road near Warren Elementary [141 Weiss Road] and ends at Francis Howell Central High,5199 Hwy. N. No personal golf carts for attendees are allowed on the parade route between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. on March 17.

The Cottleville St. Patrick’s Day Parade route map. The parade will start at Warren Elementary and end at Francis Howell Central High [www.stpatparade.org]

The annual race and parade are organized by the Cottleville St. Pat’s Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit. Proceeds from the annual event benefit local charities in the community. According to Smoot, the nonprofit’s board is made up of individuals from both the Cottleville Fire District and the city of Cottleville.

“Most of the money generated through the event is from sponsors and the runner registrations,” Smoot said.

Hennessey said the event’s proceeds are split between local charities, the CFO and city amenities such as for parks and recreation. Previous event proceeds have gone toward helping charities like Community Living, Inc. in St. Peters for the creation of an all-inclusive playground in the city.

“It’s just a great event for people to come out to,” Hennessey said.

Registration for the run and additional parade details can be found at www.stpatparade.org.


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