15 - 15
St. Gregory's Day Parade & Irish Celebration
3:00 Parade Staging Begins
4:00 Parade Begins
5:00 Irish Celebration Begins
8:00 Time to take 'yourarse' home...
The What's & Why's
Éire go Brách! Hello wanna-be fellow Irishmen. 'Tis almost dat time again ter don yisser Irish orange fur de annual St. Gregory's Day Parade & Irish Celebration!'
St. Gregory's Day is back for its' third year and going to be the best celebration yet! We are turning this celebratory day public and flooding Athletic Park in orange and green, to host Newton's first PUBLIC St Gregory's (Patrick's) Day Parade & Irish Celebration. This year's celebration will help benefit BCAPA (Bethel College Academy of Performing Arts) and, through help of the Newton Lyons Club, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Harvey County.
What exactly is this celebration and how did this crazy tradition begin you ask? Legend has it that many years ago when the earth was green, this tradition was started in a small Newton, Irish speakeasy. These working-class lads & lasses simply could not function after celebrating St. Patrick's Day on a week night. So, one evening after contemplating this quandary in deep meditative thought over pints of Guinness, Bishop Behymer and Cardinal Strunk proclaimed the closest Saturday to the actual St. Patrick's Day, to be St. Gregory's Day! Then, these lads and the local Irish speakeasy owner, Duff McHanson, decided to celebrate this new Irish celebration in a crazy and festive, off beat way... to have an actual parade and everyone dress in ORANGE, the third color of the Irish flag. This comedic salute to St. Patrick's Day has taken off over the last two years and is now something unique to Newton, KS. We hope to continue this festive Irish celebration as something unique and fun for the Newton community! The parade and most events are totally free, whether you want to watch or participate. Other events like food and beverages require a small monetary donation to help support various 501c3's in the area.
Over the years a few traditions and legends associated with St. Gregory's Day, dating back to the early times of unicorns and shamrocks, have come to exist. Below are a few of the them...
No Snakes in Ireland: Many believe that St. Gregory was a dear friend of St. Patrick, till a bad night of Guinness rounds led to St. Gregory putting his pet snake in St. Patrick's bed linens. St. Patrick's reaction in now legend throughout all of Ireland.
Orange Underwear: Perhaps you've seen the orange underwear hanging in trees on this day. Legend has it that back in the day the rambunctious Irish youth would dye their old underwear orange as a forewarning to adults that there would be 'moonings' later that night. This tradition has carried on with people hanging old undies, dyed orange in their yards in remembrance of their exuberant younger years.
Wearing Orange: Yes, orange is the official color of St. Gregory's Day, however, not everyone needs to go out of their way since, this is a St. Patrick's Day celebration. However, tradition has it that your level of fun will be upgraded 100% if you do wear "The Orange"!
Last year's parade saw bagpipes, ATV's, lawnmowers pulling decorated trailers, wheel chairs, bicycles, unicycles, wagons, wheelbarrows, lambs, a dog in a top hat & tie and a unicorn!! Don't be the one who misses out being in this year's parade. You've heard stories about previous year's, so reserve your spot soon! Simply click on the button and fill out your float information in detail and submit it. Walkers are always welcome and a big part of the celebration whether individual or organizations.
Cold or Inclimate Weather
Plans have been made to take the after parade celebration inside the 4-H building on the southwest side of Athletic Park in case of inclimate weather for everyone's comfort.
BCAPA Sheep Toss (A contest to benefit the Bethel College of Performing Arts) - Who can toss an (inflatable) sheep the furthest. Dear PETA, no sheep were hurt in the typing of this sentence. See how we killed two birds with one shillelagh? Prize will be announced soon!
The B&B Lumber Men In Kilts Competition - Who wears his kilt the best in Harvey County? Prize - A real man's tool, the coveted ORANGE AXE!
The Newton Now Irish Accent Contest - You are handed an Irish limerick to recite in your best Irish accent. Prize will be announce soon!
Wichita Caledonian Pipes & Drums: The Wichita Caledonian Pipes & Drums are the premier performance and competition pipe band in south central Kansas. Since its foundation in 2006 by members of the Wichita music community, WCPDB has quickly become a leader in honoring, teaching and sharing the spectacular legacy of traditional Highland Bagpipe music.
BCAPA Irish Dancers & Irish Fiddlers: “BCAPA is a collaborative community-based organization committed to nurturing creativity, diversity, and a lifelong love of learning in a safe, positive environment." Bethel College Academy of Performing Arts (BCAPA) was founded when Bethel College and its surrounding community acted on a need to increase music instruction opportunities in the area. In 1996, BCAPA first opened its doors as the Academy of Music, a Suzuki School for string instruction that provided quality instruction to over 70 students. The organization renamed itself the Academy of Performing Arts when dance instruction was introduced in Fall 2004. Today, BCAPA serves more than 200 students from the Newton and Wichita metropolitan areas. BCAPA is an affiliate organization of Bethel College.
MC/DJ Music - McMichael Smith
Irish Celebration Food & Beverage
Corn-beef & Cabbage, Hamburgers, etc. - Brought to you by the Newton Lyons Club benefiting Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Harvey County
Pop, Water & Beer - Orange Aero Plains Beer, various sodas & water
What is allowed: Smaller tractors, lawn mowers, ATV's, trailers being pulled by like vehicles, scooters, bicycles, unicycles, wheelbarrows, wagons, wheel chairs, etc. (Yes, all of these have been in previous parades), walking groups of individuals, clubs or organizations
What is not allowed: Cars, trucks, motorcycles, larger vehicles (unless invited emergency or city personnel)
Registration: All parade entries must be in by Wed, March 13th at midnight
All entries must be approved by parade organizers prior to the registration deadline
Forms must be filled out completely for each entry
All pets must have appropriate registration and vet shots, etc. AND be approved by parade
organizers for the parade only,
Above animals are NOT allowed into the fenced celebration grounds unless they are approved
service type pets.