Lake Ozark St. Patrick’s Day Parade expecting record-setting turnout

Dan Field
newsroom@lakesunonline.com
A parade participant in the 2019 St. Patrick’s Day parade sports a viking helmet and green beard on his motorcycle.

One of the most anticipated events of the year in Lake Ozark and the lake area is the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. It signals the beginning of the long-awaited season of activities and events.

The parade fell victim to COVID-19 a year ago, but sponsor Bagnell Dam Strip Association is gearing up for a record-setting event this year on Saturday, March 13, on Bagnell Dam Blvd. It begins at 1 p.m.

The board of aldermen approved an event permit for the parade at its regular meeting Feb. 26. Organizer Jeff Carroll told the board there is a record number of entries – at least 140 – this year because of the gradual return to normalcy at the lake and because many other communities have cancelled parades or modified their parades due to COVID-19.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Deck the whole family out in green, grab the lawn chairs and head out to Bagnell Dam Strip for an afternoon of family fun watching the various floats, cars, motorcycles and, yes, even boats as they travel along The Strip.

Anyone interested can download the official entry form and return it to the Bagnell Dam Strip Association no later than March 9.

Plaques will be awarded for first, second and third place in both civic and business categories along with a Grand Champion trophy.

Bagnell Dam Blvd. will shut down from Quality Inn to the new roundabout on Bagnell Dam Blvd. (including Bagnell Dam) at 12:45 p.m. the day of the parade and re-open around 3 p.m. Motorists will be able to enter Horseshoe Bend Parkway (HH) by using Route 242. Horseshoe Bend traffic will be let through at gaps in the parade.

Parade participants are reminded that alcohol in any form cannot be distributed to parade spectators or consumed on floats.

Also, candy can be distributed but should not be thrown from parade entries. Parade entrants are encouraged to hand out candy along the route or have someone walking alongside the vehicle to hand out candy or items.

Safety first

Carroll urges parade participants, residents and visitors to remain vigilant regarding COVID-19. He noted there will be sanitizing stations located throughout the parade route, and he urges everyone to practice social distancing as much as possible.

Of course, masks are encouraged in close contact situations but not required.

For more information call 573-280-5477 or email jcarroll88.jc@gmail.com.

New process

This year’s parade application was the first that went through the newly formed Special Events Review Committee process. The committee was created to help the city coordinate the growing number of events taking place within the city limits. City officials hope the new procedure will improve communications between event coordinators and the city, so events run more smoothly, so the police and public works departments have input and to make sure there are enough volunteers to serve the event.

The committee authorized the parade with the following stipulations:

•Verification from MoDOT and Ameren Missouri regarding Bagnell Dam closure.

•Volunteers will be outfitted with safety-visible vests.

•An insurance policy certificate naming the city as an additional insured entity.

“The committee did a stellar job,” Mayor Gerry Murawski commented. “I’m impressed with what I saw, and this should help coordinate future events as well.”