Pics: St. Patrick's Parade in Corktown
Photo from Metromix

Marilisa Kinney Sachteleben

Céad míle fáilte romhat! That's Gaelic for "100,000 welcomes."

It's also the motto of Detroit's Corktown St. Patrick's Day celebration. There are shamrocks, a parade, Irish food, Guinness (and other) beer, and a Mass at St. Patrick's. Here are details about this fun neighborhood and its signature festival.

Detroit is Michigan's eldest city after Sault Ste. Marie, the oldest city in the U.S. Midwest, and Corktown is Detroit's oldest neighborhood. The National Park Service says that the Corktown Historical District, located south of Michigan Avenue and west of the Lodge Freeway (U.S. 10) dates back to the pre-Civil War 1830s. It takes its name from County Cork in Ireland and was founded by wealthier Irish immigrants from New York City. Some survivors of the Irish Potato Famine found Corktown a refuge, too. Corktown History and Redemption in Corktown are two blogs that chronicle the history and several home restoration projects in the Corktown neighborhood.

On March 9, come for Painting of the Shamrocks at 11 a.m. This will take place at the Gaelic League at 2068 Michigan Ave., Detroit, and will proceed to Irish Plaza at Michigan Avenue and Sixth Street for a Press Party with the United Irish Societies officers, parade marshall, Maid of Erin, and Court of St. Brigid. They'll paint the traditional shamrocks for the parade route. From 5-8 p.m., there will be the Friday Lenten fish dinner ($8) at the Gaelic League hall. These dinners continue on through Lent.

On Saturday, March 10th, there will be an pre-parade party at the Gaelic League from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. The Gaelic League will host another pre-St. Patrick's Day party on Friday, March 16. Both feature live Irish music.

Sunday, March 11, kicks off with Mass at St. Patrick's Church, 58 Parsons St., Detroit, at 10:30 a.m., followed by brunch. The annual Corktown race begins at 11:30 a.m. for kids, and the adult race starts noon. Proceeds go to fund several local Catholic and community charities.

Following this, the St. Patrick's Day parade begins at 2 p.m. The parade runs up Michigan Avenue from Sixth Street to 14th Street and includes marching bands, pipe and drum bands, color guard units, floats, clowns, and novelty groups.


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