Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A little rain won't stop Paddy's Day parade

Frank Hart hopes the luck of the Irish is on his side this weekend.

It certainly wasn’t with him last March: The St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival he and his wife Linda organize here was postponed due to rain. It wound up taking place after the holiday instead of beforehand, and several invited guests – including Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools superintendent Peter Gorman, initially tabbed as the parade’s grand marshal – couldn’t make the new date.

The forecast for Saturday, when the 2010 event is taking place? Thirty percent chance of showers.

“I think it’s just gonna be something passing through,” said a hopeful Frank Hart earlier today. He indicated there was a zero percent chance of a postponement this time around. “Last year was different, I mean, last year was like 39 and 90 percent chance of rain and there was a big front coming in.”

Saturday, Gorman will finally handle grand marshal duties (then-Mayor Pat McCrory filled in last year); the parade will feature more than 100 groups and organizations, from “Star Wars” re-enactors to drumlines and about a dozen floats; the festival will offer Irish food, vegetarian food, nearly 60 vendors, a balloon artist, sand art, and inflatables for kids.

The Charlotte Goes Green Festival runs 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. on Tryon Street between First and Third streets. The parade starts at 11 a.m. at Tryon and Ninth streets and proceeds south to Tryon and Third streets. Details: 803-802-1678 or