In March 2002, four Grand Ledge neighbors, of varying Irish descent, developed a scheme to turn their two block neighborhood into a modest St. Patrick’s Day parade route. Flyers were handed out, makeshift floats were hastily built, children decorated their bikes, and neighbors shut in from the cold winter came out of doors to share a drink, share a laugh, and enjoy the spectacle of children and adults marching through the neighborhood to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. This same tradition carried over into 2003, with more than 120 neighbors turning out for the March parade.
In 2004, local business and city government asked the neighbors to bring the parade “downtown”, and so was born the city-wide St. Patrick’s Day parade celebration. The inaugural March 2004 parade was enjoyed by over 3,500 visitors, included 30 floats, two pipe and drum marching bands, and, a free post parade concert of Irish dance and music. This same formula has been repeated in 2005 and 2006, with more visitors, more floats and more fun each year. We have expanded our celebration to include Friday evening celebrations and events all day on Saturday.