Lace-up your shoes and get your bags ready for the Cottleville Shamrock Run & Parade. This Cottleville tradition, which started in 2008, is sure to bring a big crowd as it has become one of the biggest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the region.
A new route for the 5-kilometer run starts off the day at 8 a.m. and ends at about 9:30 a.m. People who are partaking in the run must meet at the Fire Truck at Hwy N. and Chestnut Street in Cottleville. Registration is open now; participation cost is $40 per runner. Runners of the legal drinking age have the option of receiving a malt beverage once they cross the finish line. Winners from each division will be recognized at the finish line at 9:30 a.m. The overall fastest time from the each division – male, female and wheelchair – will receive a commemorative fire helmet at the awards ceremony.
If running isn’t what you consider relaxing, go straight to the parade, which starts at 11:30 a.m. and ends at 1:30 p.m., approximately.
Strolling into town in between the end of the run and the start of the parade is the best time to find a perfect spot to set up camp. During this time, the crowds are smaller and parking is not nearly as big a hassle as it will be once it gets closer to parade time.
St. Charles Community College is about 1 mile from the furthest point on the parade route. Not only is it close, the parking is free. Free shuttles run continuously to transport visitors and their belongings, such as small coolers and chairs, to and from the college and the parade route.
The Francis Howell Central Parents Club is also renting parking spaces at Francis Howell Central High. The Cottleville Firefighters Outreach, the organization behind the successful run and parade, also are providing free accessible parking at this location. Howell Central is close enough to the parade route that it does not require shuttle service.
According to Cottleville Firefighters Outreach, safety is its No. 1 concern; therefore, visitors will see plenty of barricades in place to prevent injury to parade viewers. Cottleville firefighters ask that if you arrive early and set up a tent, do not attach it to any of the barricades in any way.
Garret Ryan from Cottleville Firefighters Outreach said getting to see all the people come together and have a good time is a great experience and he highly suggests people who have not attended the Shamrock Parade to try it.
For more information on the 5K and parade, visit Shamrockparade.com.