Bagpiper Amanda Spangenberg Baughman has “lost count” in the number of parades she’s participated in. But Harrisburg’s St. Patrick’s Day parade is her favorite.
“It’s in our hometown, and we are the only Harrisburg bagpipe band,” she said, referencing the group she plays with, the Lochiel Emerald Society Pipes and Drums.
On March 18, she will be joined by more than 1,000 participants, including dancers, local celebrities and the Harrisburg High School band, for this year’s St. Patrick’s Day parade. The parade starts at 1 p.m., immediately after the Lucky Charm 5K/10K race, said Todd Vander Woude, executive director of the Harrisburg Downtown Improvement District (HDID).
The parade steps off at Walnut and 4th streets to follow a new route down Market, 2nd and North streets. This year is the first year with HDID organizing the event.
“This new route gives us the opportunity to highlight our downtown business community,” Vander Woude said.
The 5K and 10K race, sponsored by Fleet Feet Sports in Mechanicsburg, will also “be a host in showcasing the city,” said owner Fred Josyln.
“Runners will get to see some of the beautiful things in the city,” he said, while wearing lime green running sneakers to match his Lucky Charms race T-shirt.
The race begins at 10 a.m. and will end in time for the parade, he said.
Officials from SP Plus and Parkmobile, a mobile parking application, will be educating residents and visitors about discounts and the new parking app, which launched March 1 in Harrisburg, Mayor Eric Papenfuse said.
Parkers can receive four hours of free parking using the code “LUVHBG” every Saturday, including March 18. Remembering the code is not necessary. The discount code appears when a user selects to enter a promotional code, Papenfuse said.
Papenfuse also encouraged those celebrating St. Patrick’s Day on Saturday to enjoy downtown Harrisburg on Friday for 3rd in the Burg.
“The whole weekend is going to be celebrated,” he said. “Come down Friday and come back Saturday.”