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St. Patrick's Day Parade Coming Up

March 10, 2000|JOSH GOLDSTEIN

In California, no one would think it odd that a St. Patrick's Day parade would conclude at a Spanish mission.

Celebrating a bit early, Main Street will be transformed into a Dublin road Saturday morning for the 12th annual Ventura County St. Patrick's Day Parade and Festival.

Bringing green-clad dancers, harp-playing musicians and corned beef fans out for the holiday, which is actually March 17, is all part of the fun and nostalgia, said Robert Cornett, parade chairman.

"Everyone is supposed to be Irish for at least one day a year," said Cornett, 75.

In 1948, while working in Europe for the Army Signal Corps, Cornett celebrated St. Patrick's Day in Dublin.

The Ventura Elks Lodge and the parade committee, made up of local businesses and residents, will host the family event.

The parade will begin at 10 a.m. and cruise down Main Street, beginning at Santa Clara Street, and work its way to the San Buenaventura Mission.

The parade will include floats, Irish music, equestrian groups and miniature cars driven by members of a local Shriner's group. The parade will have 63 entrants, from Cub Scouts to politicians, from the Marine Corps Color Guard to numerous Irish families.

After the parade, the party will move to nearby Mission Park for a festival celebrating Irish lore and St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.

The festival, which will continue from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, will have members of Ventura's Claddagh School of Irish Dance on Saturday, and Camarillo's Greenway Academy of Irish Dance on Sunday. Both will perform Irish dances and performance art pieces.

Parade grand marshals are state Sen. Jack O'Connell (D-San Luis Obispo) and Joyce Kennedy, former director of the Ventura campus of Cal State Northridge. Both have Irish and Scottish ancestry.

For more information, call 649-1412.

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