CONKLIN, Mich. (March 17, 2014) — It’s known as the world’s shortest St. Patrick’s Day parade and it happens in West Michigan. However, this year could mark the end of a long-standing tradition as the founders of the parade are also putting their Irish Pub up for sale.
“It’s the one day of the year that when it’s all over, we know we’re in business for the next year,” said Terry Reagan, owner of Fenian’s Irish Pub.
But even that isn’t enough to convince Reagan not to sell this hometown favorite.
“I’m an old man and its time,” explained Reagan. “I’m 70 years old so a great time to get out of it.”
After 27 years, Reagan and his wife are retiring and selling Fenian’s Irish Pub, putting next year’s parade in jeopardy. Reagan and his business partner started the parade in 1988. They marched from the north end of Main Street to the south. They were the only two in it, but the tradition grew over the years.
The O’Neills family is just one who made it their own tradition and don’t want to see it end.
“Im hoping whoever buys it keeps this tradition going so whoever’s buying it please please keep this going, this is awesome!” said Mike O’Neill.
Little known fact: For the past 26 years, the parade never finished the route. The Grand Marshall always gets lured into Fenian’s.
“Hopefully, hopefully this one will [finish is.]” said Reagan.
And for the 27th year, the parade only made it to the pub, where hundreds packed inside to hear music and celebrate. As for next year’s parade…
“That remains to be seen,” said Reagan. “Anyone can do a parade if they put their brain to it. We did it.”