Many Iowans with (and without) Irish heritage will be kicking up their heels this weekend in celebration of St. Patrick's Day, which officially falls on Monday this year.
Organizers of one new eastern Iowa St. Patrick's Day festival hope it becomes an annual tradition. It's the first ever St. Patrick's Day Street Party in downtown Dubuque's Cable Car Square.
For Judy Siegert, St. Patrick's Day is the biggest and busiest holiday of the year. She and her husband own Shamrock Imports in Dubuque: a one-stop-shop for all things Irish.
"(Customers) come from Burlington, and yesterday I had people from Des Moines," Siegert listed. "Chicago, Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids. I mean, you wouldn't believe on a daily basis we get to talk to people from out of town, which is great because you meet great people."
Shamrock Imports sits next to Cable Car Square, where Dubuque's first ever St. Patrick's Day Street Party is expected to draw hundreds of people.
Keith Rahe is president and CEO of the Dubuque Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. He said it's great to have an event like this in late winter.
"Our hotels, our restaurants, the whole area, you know, they need a shot in the arm to get everyone excited about spring and about summer coming up, get people traveling, get them outside," Rahe said. "Any type of activity like that is significant at this time of the year."
He said January and February tend to be the most sluggish months for tourism.
"March is usually not too bad, because a lot of people are on spring break," Rahe said. "They'll come and go to the River Museum, they'll stay at the Grand Harbor Resort, you know, for the water park and just experience everything."
Siegert certainly looks forward to the boost from the street party, while also appreciating all the regular customers who have kept Shamrock Imports in business for more than 35 years.
The group who organizes Dubuque's Irish Hooley is organizing the new St. Patrick's Day Street Party. Dubuque used to have a St. Patrick's Day parade, but that fell to the wayside in recent years. This street party is the first major public St. Patrick's Day celebration for Dubuque since the parade.
The street party in Cable Car Square (at the intersection of Bluff and Fourth Streets) starts at 4 p.m. and goes until 10 p.m.
Siegert said there will be a heated tent, with food and drinks.
Admission for people 13 and older is $5. More details are ?HERE?.
In nearby Dyersville, the 33rd annual Gaelic Gallop St. Patrick's Day Race has various races for different age groups throughout the morning. Details are HERE.
The annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in Dyersville begins at 1:30.
Monday, September 1 2014 5:41 PM EDT2014-09-01 21:41:17 GMT
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