The Sixth Annual 30a St. Patrick's Parade and Festival is slated for Saturday, March 16, heralding the return of the Irish Music band Mithril. Drawing record-setting crowds to their Mobile Symphony Chamber Series performances, the Mobile based quartet has also been featured on the syndicated radio show Celtic Connection.

The parade expects more than 50 floats and parade entries, in all shapes and sizes. Parade lineup begins at 2.30 p.m. on 30a and heads four miles west, ending at Gulf Place, where the festivities continue. Mithril headlines the entertainment that includes the Drake School of Irish Dance. Sponsors, Resortquest, Gulf Place Merchants, Maries Bistro, Stinkys Fishcamp,  and Sweetwater Brewing are slated to return in 2013.

“The 30a St. Patrick’s Parade and Irish Festival continues to grow,” said Paul Vizard, event founder.  “There is no bigger delight than to see local businesses take time out to decorate their floats and get a free plug for their business, too. The original mission to showcase local businesses and the area of 30a is being fulfilled in a greater manner than imagined.”

 There will be a special eco-friendly "green" prize award for the best electric/self powered or non gas powered vehicle entry. ResortQuest is the sponsor of the perpetual trophy of Best in Parade award, won in 2012 by restaurant Stinkys Fishcamp. Businesses and individuals are encouraged to enter decorated street legal golf carts, cars trucks or floats to vie for the coveted awards.

 Festival goers can purchase commemorative T-shirts, experience arts and crafts, including jewelry, wood carving, face painting, and of course a variety of food and drinks. A few vendor table and tent spaces are still available, and businesses are encouraged to be a sponsor. Details at