All about the green
Tonganoxie St. Patrick’s Parade No. 27 is in the books and organizers already are planning for 2016.
Officials are eager to build on this year’s parade, which attracted more than 40 entries.
Several Tonganoxie businesses donated money toward cash prizes. A traveling trophy — a gold-painted paintbrush on a plaque — even was introduced this year.
The “trophy” is a lighthearted take on the tradition of painting a green stripe down Fourth Street in advance of the parade.
The local Girl Scout Troop won the traveling trophy and the grand prize of $200 cash.
The Boy Scouts won the best general float and a $75 cash prize, while Women of the Wild West won Best Pet Float and a $50 cash prize.
Best Youth Boy Float winner was the team of Sully Chance and Grady Chance, while Best Youth Girl Float went to Sophia Pinedo on her pony. Tonganoxie Police Chief Jeff Brandau and Tonganoxie City Fire Chief Jack Holcom presented awards to the youth winners.
The event, which Entrepreneurs Achieving Success Together organized, brought a bigger turnout than the previous year when the parade had about 25 entries.
Organizer Monica Gee said the parade committee is hoping to expand parade participation next year. The traveling trophy is a tradition she and other organizers hope will continue on for years to come.
For 2016, committee members are tentatively looking at having a few vendor-type booths and food booths to complement the parade.
She said the participation and excitement level surrounding the parade in general were extremely positive this year.
This year the Tonganoxie High School Art Club painted the green stripe down the middle of Fourth Street and artwork at Fourth and Bury streets. All artwork was done with washable paint.
The activity continues a tradition of painting a green stripe down Fourth Street. In years past, “leprechauns” painted the stripe in the early morning hours before the parade, but last year the painter, Charlie Conrad, was ticketed for criminal damage to property for painting with permanent paint, though the case eventually was thrown out in municipal court.
The stripe had been painted with permanent paint in previous years as well. The incident drew attention both in Tonganoxie and throughout the state.
Parade organizers, though, took that situation and had some fun with it.
This year’s Tonganoxie St. Patrick’s T-shirts had a leprechaun holding a paintbrush. The traveling trophy, as previously mentioned is a paintbrush.
THS students’ artwork at Fourth and Bury streets had a giant horseshoe, spring flowers, a leprechaun and a four-leaf clover with the initials “JM,” a nod to the late John McCaffrey, who is credited with organizing the first Tonganoxie St. Patrick’s Parade in the late 1980s and many more