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St Patrick's Day Festival Moves to L.A. Live

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Friday, March 05, 2010, at 05:56PM
Music Tradition Ed Fuentes

The Los Angeles Police Emerald Society marches in the 2009 St. Patrick's Day Parade.

Leprechauns will not be marching down Main Street this year, but the party will go on.

The City of Los Angeles and AEG will hold a St. Patrick's Day Festival at L.A. Live on Wednesday, March 17, that will feature many of the elements that had taken part in the parades of recent years, but budget issues will put the brakes on a journey through city streets.

"We regret that the City of Los Angeles Saint Patrick's Day Parade has been suspended for 2010," says a page put up by the Los Angeles Fire Department. "A decision has not been made regarding future year events." Past year motions listed the cost of the event at $5,000.

The news was confirmed by staff in the office of Councilman Tom LaBonge, who will co-host the St. Patrick's Day event with Councilwoman Jan Perry.

While Los Angeles has had sporadic city celebrations over the years, the parade of recent years was brought to life by Captain Doug Morgan and Captain Richard Andrade of Downtown's Fire Station 3.

Slowly, the event grew, still maintaining an odd small town charm that had celebrities like actor Robert Patrick (Terminator 2) and Eric Estrada (CHiPS) join bands and civic dignitaries down Main street before ending at Pershing Square.

In recent years, the park filled with revelers and concert-goers wearing green, bringing mid-day life to the maligned park space.

“I’m glad it will still be celebrated Downtown, but for us it’s sad that it moved away from Pershing Square,” says Louise Capone, the Senior Recreation Director who oversees performances at the park. She reports she placed bid in to the city in December, 2009. “We did have a budget for staffing and talent, but were not asked to participate this year. I don’t know for what reason.”

“I don’t want the tradition to end. Every big city has a St. Patrick’s Celebration.”

Festivities are scheduled to take place on Wednesday, March 17, from 11am to 3pm, with a stage ceremony at 12:30pm. The festival will feature Ken O’Malley & The Twlight Lords, the Los Angeles Emerald Society Bagpipe Band, a display of classic fire trucks and police cars, and an Irish-themed beer garden. Sponsor proceeds will benefit the Los Angeles Fire Department Historical Society. The event is free.

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