The Town of Boone has announced the grand marshal and judges for its Third Annual St. Patrick’s Parade, which will take place on Saturday, March 14, at 2 p.m. This list of individuals includes both local community leaders and nationally recognized celebrities.
The 2020 St. Patrick’s Parade grand marshal is NASCAR great and North Carolina native, Kyle Petty, who will be joined by his wife, Morgan, and their son, Overton. During an illustrious stock car racing career that spanned nearly three decades, Petty amassed 172 top-ten finishes and several victories. Now an analyst for NBC Sports, Petty spends his free time focusing on his other passions: his family, his charities, and his music career. In fact, Petty will be returning to Boone on April 17, for a concert at the Jones House.
Boone is a special place for Petty and his family, and he is enthusiastic to be involved in this signature High Country event. “I have not been a grand marshal in a parade in my entire career, so to do it in Boone – I’m really, really excited,” said Petty. “I may dress like a leprechaun,” joked Petty. “You never know what I’m going to dress like.” Petty will be staying in downtown Boone’s Horton Hotel and is scheduled to participate in a special public meet-and-greet in the hotel lobby on Friday, March 13, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The St. Patrick’s Parade judging panel has also been set. Returning as judges are Town of Boone Mayor Rennie Brantz, Appalachian State University Chancellor Sheri Everts, and professional snowboarder and Olympian Louie Vito. These three judges will be joined by a new face this year – Mary Ruthless, owner and operator of Foggy Pine Books, the most recent winner of the Boone Chamber Startup Business Award.
Parade judges will be tasked with evaluating each entry based upon its overall impression, taking into account the design and construction of floats or vehicles and the quality of performances. Entries will also be scored on their level of creativity and originality in how they celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and the High Country.
Over $10,000 in prize money will be given out to the highest scored entries, thanks to the generous sponsorship of Double Wood Farm, with the best in show receiving the top prize of $2,000. The next 12 highest scoring participants will be awarded the additional prizes.
Last year’s grand prize winner, Appalachian Rhythm, set the bar high, and will return to perform in the third edition of the St. Patrick’s Parade. After earning the top prize last year, one of Appalachian Rhythm’s dancers declared it was more exciting than watching her favorite team win the Super Bowl.
Winners will be announced the same evening of the parade at the Daniel Boone Rail Jam, taking place at 5 p.m. at the Horn in the West Amphitheater. Tickets to the Rail Jam can be purchased online at www.danielboonerailjam.com for $5 or at the gate for $10.
For more information about the Boone St. Patrick’s Parade and other parade day festivities visit www.joneshouse.org or call 828-268-6280.