St. Gregory's Day Parade & Irish Celebration 2018
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 bigger than ever! 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 speakeasy owner, Duff McHanson, decided to celebrate this new holiday celebration in a crazy and festive, off beat way... to have a parade and everyone dress in ORANGE, the third color of the Irish flag.
Here are a few traditions and legends associated with this festive day dating back to the early times of unicorns and shamrocks.
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 corned beef and cabbage and the result became legend.
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 exuberant days past.
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. We do know that if you do find a great orange outfit, your level of fun will be upgraded 100%.
Last year's parade saw bagpipes, ATV's, lawnmowers pulling decorated trailers, wheel chairs, bicycles, wheelbarrows and a freakin' unicorn!! Don't be the one who misses out being in this year's parade. You've heard stories about last 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 organizational!
Plans have been made to take the after parade celebration inside the 4-H buildings in case of inclimate weather for everyone's comfort.
(Sonsor) Sheep Toss - A benefit contest to benefit the Bethel College of Performing Arts - Who can toss an (inflatable) sheep the furthest.
Prizes will be...
The B&B Lumber Men In Kilts Competition - Who wears the best kilt in Harvey County?
First Place Prize - A real man's tool, an AXE!
The Newton Now Irish Accent Contest - You are handed an Irish poem to recite in your best Irish accent
Prizes will be...
Wichita Caledonian Pipes & Drums
BCAPA Irish Dancers & Irish Fiddlers
MC/DJ McMichael Smith
Festival Food - (Brought to you by the Newton Lyons Club benefitting Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Harvey County)
Cornbeef & Cabbage, Hamburgers, etc.
Festival Beverages - Aeroplains beer (orange it may be lads and lasses!) & other non alcoholic varieties for all ages
What is allowed: Smaller tactors, 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 personell)
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.