St. Patrick’s Day festival, parade in Henderson

A parade of snakes being driven from Ireland might have been all the rage when St. Patrick roamed the Emerald Isle, but Irish descendants living in Southern Nevada are continuing the parade tradition with nationally recognized bagpipers, marching bands and floats.

Downtown Henderson will play host Saturday to the 42nd annual Southern Nevada Sons of Erin St. Patrick’s Day Parade, followed by a carnival and musical entertainment at the Henderson Events Plaza.

The parade will begin at 10 a.m. at Water Street and Ocean Avenue and continue for a little less than a mile, where it will end at Water and Victory Road.

Water Street will be closed from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. along the parade route.

More than 100 entries will participate in the parade this year.

The parade will feature two grand marshals, the Las Vegas musical group The Scintas and "The Star Spangled Girl," 11-year-old Ellie Smith. Smith has sung the national anthem at events since she was 6.

The parade will also feature 50 Corvettes, the Pennsylvania drum and bugle corps, the Los Angeles Scottish Pipe Band, and local bagpipe band Desert Sky Pipes and Drums.

The parade will also have two double-decker buses, one with impersonators and the other with more than 300 children singing Irish songs.

The festival will include events tonight, Sunday and Monday at the Events Plaza.

Bob Feeney, executive director of Paradigm Production Group and an organizer of the event, said more than 10,000 people are expected daily to attend the festival.

To learn more about the parade and festival on the Internet, you can visit www.stpatricks2008.com or www.hendersonlive.com.

Admission and parking are free.

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