Hilton Head St. Patrick's Day parade is Sunday

info@islandpacket.comMarch 15, 2013 

Hilton Head Island's 30th annual St. Patrick's Day parade will be Sunday. Here's what you need to know to take part in the festivities:

Time: The parade begins at 3 p.m. There's no parking along the route, so come early to find a parking spot and space to watch the parade.

Location and route: The parade begins at the parking lot at 102 Pope Ave. near Coligny Circle and ends at Park Plaza, 33 Office Park Drive. The route is straight down Pope Avenue, then it will turn on Office Park Road.

Who can come: Anyone! The parade is expected to draw about 25,000 people this year.

What's in the parade? The Budweiser Clydesdales are making a reappearance this year. There will also be several marching bands, hundreds of marchers, firetrucks and a special founder's float carrying parade founder Tom Reilley of Reilley's Bar & Grill and other longtime volunteers and organizers.

Who's this year's Grand Marshal? Brian Carmines, owner of Hudson's Seafood House on Hilton Head

Sounds great. What are the rules? First, no parking on either side of the route. Also, golf carts and motorized scooters aren't allowed on the route.

Will there be any candy? Parade participants can't throw candy or prizes from floats. This rule aims to stop children from runing into the roadway.

What about alcohol? Vendors can serve wine and beer in designated areas. Liquor drinks will only be allowed inside bars and restaurants. Don't drink too much, though. The Beaufort County Sheriff's Office usually steps up patrols for the parade. Last year the celebrations went fairly smoothly. Six were arrested, and 11 citiations and two written warnings were issued. The main offenses were public disorderly conduct, underage drinking and marijuana possession.

Anything else? If the parade isn't enough for you, try out this people-watching scavenger hunt former columnist Andy Carpenter came up with last year. You get 10 points for every time you hear "Blarney!" and 4 points for spotting oversized green glasses. Spot an actual leprechaun? Chase him down and earn points per piece of gold. There's a lot more, so click here for the fun.

Want to avoid the whole thing? The south side of Pope Avenue will be closed to traffic beginning at 3 p.m. Non-parade traffic can continue to use the north side of the road until just before the parade starts. To avoid the traffic, limit travel in the area until after 5 p.m., according to the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office.

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