Nineteen years ago when Mike Sweeney decided to have a St. Patrick's Day Parade down the Sterling Highway some may have thought it was an eccentric idea coming in the middle of March which can still be the middle of winter on the Kenai Peninsula. But given the luck of the Irish in a community that loves a parade the weather has never been a deterrent and the popularity of the event has continued to grow. From its original route down the Sterling Highway the parade has moved to the Kenai Spur Highway from Bailey's Furniture Store to the "Y" in Soldotna. "It may not be the longest parade in the state, but it seems to be the only St. Patrick's Day Parade in Alaska, and is always a lot of fun for participants and spectators," says Sweeney. The St. Patrick's Day celebration in Soldotna isn't limited to the short parade, but is followed by other events around town that include a traditional corn beef and cabbage dinner served up at the Senior Citizens Center, and a variety of other activities and parties including green beer and live music at Hooligan's and St. Elias Brewing Co.
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