The St. Patrick’s Day parade begins in Dogtown

ST. LOUIS — The Ancient Order of Hibernians kicked off its 38th annual parade in the Dogtown neighborhood on Friday to recognize and honor a tradition that began in St. Louis over 200 years ago.

For nearly four decades, the St. Louis Hibernians have contributed to this tradition by showcasing Irish heritage in one of the city’s oldest Irish enclaves, the Dogtown neighborhood of south St. Louis.

Irish culture in the Dogtown district dates back to the 18th century when Irish immigrants helped settle the area and worked to create a community similar to that in Ireland. An important part of an Irish community was the church founded in 1860, in this case St James the Greater. To this day, many consider St. James the “heart and soul” of the neighborhood.

The latest event to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day is the Dogtown Irish Festival. This year’s parade features over 90 units with floats highlighting Irish dance, music and tributes to Irish history and culture.

The Grand Marshal of this year’s parade was Julie Colombo, who is 100 years old and a lifelong resident of the Dogtown neighborhood.

The 4th Annual Dogtown Irish Festival featured loads of fun, food, music and attractions for all ages. The festival was created in 2018 by Dogtown United, a non-profit organization run by local and corporate leaders and the Hibernians.

“Hibernians and our protesters look forward to this event every year,” said Joe Murphy, chairman of the 2023 St. Patrick’s Day Parade march down the avenue.”

“But we ask that everyone coming to Dogtown on March 17 be respectful of the neighborhood, local businesses and your fellow visitors,” Murphy said. “Yes, come and celebrate, but the Hibernians ask that you do so for fun as well as a safe way.” The St. Patrick’s Day parade begins in Dogtown

Sarah Y. Kim

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