Downtown Racine goes for the gold (and green)

RACINE — There might not have been a cloudless sky of blue, but Downtown Racine received a sea of green Saturday.

The annual St. Patrick’s Day parade started at noon at the intersection of State and Main streets and proceeded down Main before turning onto Sixth Street and ending at City Hall, 730 Washington Ave.

Princess Kate will assume her new role as Colonel of the Irish Guards on St. Patrick’s Day. Her husband, Prince William has been the colonel, and Kate has accompanied him on visits to the guards over the years. 

A few hundred lined the route to watch the entrants, such as the Carriage Pub pedal bike and Margret Hinze, Miss Racine 2023. Others included the Lighthouse Brigade, Root River Rollers and multiple singing and dancing groups.

Local government officials and groups such as Racine Mayor Cory Mason, Alderman Henry Perez, Alderman Jeff Coe, Friends of Kelly Gallaher, City of Racine Transit and Bryan Steil for Wisconsin were also present.

With the temperatures in the low 20s during the parade, many chose to watch the procession inside local cafes, pubs and other businesses.

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Shannon Tobias, a troop mom with St. Lucy’s Girl Scouts, said that the cold weather did not deter her girls from getting ready for the parade.

“They were still running around there with snow pants on and hand warmers,” Tobias said. “The energy was there when they were setting up the trailer around nine in the morning, I hope the energy is still there when the parade starts. We will definitely see.”

Don Fowlkes and his party hunkered down inside The Ivanhoe, 231 Main St., before the events of the parade.

“It’s a very bitter cold,” Fowlkes said. “Definitely could have been a better day.”

Despite the cold, Fowlkes said he and his family were going to brave it once the parade started.

Ron Christensen, a Racine businessman and resident who died in October 2022, was the posthumous grand marshal for the parade.

Born near the Irish holiday, on March 19, he was known to have never missed the Racine St. Patrick’s Day parade.

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