The Big St. Pat’s Parade is this Weekend!

It's almost here! The Crosslake St. Patrick's Day Parade and festivities are this Saturday. The parade, one of the largest in Minnesota (and almost definitely the largest outside the Twin Cities) will bring more than 10,000 people to the town of Crosslake and endless fun to parade goers. The parade begins at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 16 and winds through Crosslake Town Square, down County Road 3 and onto County Road 66 through town.

While the parade is the main event, there is even more fun both before and after the parade.

On Friday the first clue to chase the Lucky Leprechaun will be released! The theme of this year's parade is Lucky Leprechaun, and at 3 p.m. on Friday the first clue will be released. That clue will lead you to lucky leprechauns that will hold progressive clues eventually leading to the pot o' gold!

On Saturday you can start parade day right with a 5k run. The Clover Dash 5k starts and finishes at Crosslake Town Square, which puts you in the perfect spot for pre- and post-parade entertainment! Registration is from 7:45-9 a.m. at Whitefish Lodge and Suites, and the race begins at 9:30. All racers 21 and over will get a coupon for a green beer at Rafferty's, conveniently located in Town Square where the race finishes. New this year is a kids run around Town Square. The kids run will start at 9 a.m. and will be timed. Kids will receive a shirt and finisher medal, and registration is just $10. More info and updates are on Facebook.

If running's not your thing, there's a pancake breakfast Saturday morning benefiting the Crosslake Fire Department, from 8-11:30 a.m. at Crosslake Lutheran Church.

Whitefish Lodge and Suites will host an indoor vendor fair and parking lot kickoff beginning at 9 a.m. A full bar, food garden and live music. From 12-1 p.m. you can meet retired Vikings quarter back Tommy Kramer (also inside Whitefish Lodge and Suites, 14150 Swann Dr.).

There's much, much more fun to be had. Crosslake Town Square, where the parade begins, will have pre-parade entertainment and shopping. There will be live music, a Maucieri's food truck, and Viking Land Harley Davidson will have a display tent. From 1:15- 1:45, check out the Unicycling Unicorn, a truly unique performer on a 12-foot unicycle!

Crosslake Community School will host family fun with games, face painting, a book walk and more at the school (at their new location on CR 66, north of the Holiday Station) from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

After the parade at 2 p.m. there will be entertainment at numerous businesses in town. Check out the Chamber's full list of events on their website to see everything that's on tap.

Purchase a raffle ticket and you'll also receive a blinkie button that gets you discounts all over town, from bars and restaurants to retailers and gas stations! Tickets are $6 and available at companies around town.  Check the chamber's event website or download the Crosslake App to see all events and blinkie button discounts. The raffle drawing will be held on March 22  at Andy's Bar and grill.

Most of all, have fun and be safe this weekend!

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