‘World’s shortest parade’ held in Conklin

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CONKLIN, Mich. (WOOD) — Hundreds gathered for the “shortest St. Patricks Day parade” in Conklin Saturday morning. 

The population of town just over 2,000 explodes as spectators mass along the 150 yard parade route. 

Now in it’s 31st year, the origins of the parades quarter mile walk remain unclear.

Monika Schneider-Calisir purchased the Conklin Bar with her father three years ago. The bar rests along the parade route. Schneider-Calisir said she is happy to see the attention the event brings to the town. 

“Conklin, Michigan is a town on the map that people tend not to see,” Schneider-Calisir said. “When they come here they are very surprised to see how much we have to offer, you won’t be disappointed.” 

The parade route begins where Main Street meets Miller. It famously ends inside the bar. 

“Why the parade ever diverged into the bar I am not sure,” Schneider-Calisir said. “It has become something now that we talk about all year round. We love seeing people from all over the place join us for this event. It’s a very special, special place.”

Parade watchers donned in greens lined the street of the town and crammed into the bar where they are met with green beer, irish music, and even traditional for samplings from Ireland. 

Bill Strong and his brother Brian live in Fremont, but they have been coming to take part in the festivities for almost thirty years. They too don’t know how the event started, but they say the bar wouldn’t be the same without the parade.

“I honestly think one without the other wouldn’t be as good,” Strong said. “It’s a compilation of the whole entire day, and the people, It’s just a feeling you can’t get anywhere else.”

The shortest St. Patricks Day parade is in Hot Springs Arkansas. It’s route is only 98 feet, which equates to just over 32 yards. 

Joylene Grudzinskas doesn’t care that a smaller parade exists, she’s happy Conklin’s has been bringing the community together for decades.

“I met my husband in this parade. I just love all the camaraderie we all have,” Grudzinskas said. “I’m not Irish and I bet half of everyone here isn’t either but today we all are.”

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