HUBBARDSTON — This tiny Irish village will once again shine as it plays host to annual St. Patrick’s Day festivities.
The merry-making will begin Sunday with a traditional Irish dinner at American Legion Post 182. A corned beef sandwich plate will be served from noon to 3 p.m. Emma Phelps of the Hubbardston Irish Dance Troupe will perform at 11:30 a.m. Frog and the Beef Tones Band will perform from 4 to 8 p.m.
On Monday, the annual walking parade will take place. Anyone is welcome to participate.
Billed as the “world’s shortest parade,” the walk begins with line-up at the top of the hill at the village park at 11:45 a.m. The parade is set to begin at noon with a route taking walkers to the village’s four corners a short distance away.
“We once again will have a bagpiper,” said Annette Riley, who is in charge of the parade. “He will be leading the parade and will play at Shiels Tavern after the parade.”
Shiels Tavern, the oldest continuously operated bar in Michigan, is currently owned by Bill and Barb Cunningham. The tavern will feature its annual Irish stew dinner all day Monday, along with green beer, plus Irish dancers at 11 a.m.
“Barb and I have done a lot to Shiels in the last three years since we’ve taken over,” Bill Cunningham said. “We’re trying to make it more of a homey, friendly environment.
“It’s just an Irish town,” he added of the village. “Most everybody is related. It’s almost like a reunion here on St. Patrick’s Day with family and friends. We do have a lot of outsiders come to Shiels, which we love. It’s a friendly town.”
Sheila O’Grady, who is helping with parade, agreed.
“St. Patrick’s Day brings a lot of people to town from all around,” she said. “You see people once a year that you don’t see the rest of the year.”