By Nathan Ham
In just its second year of existence, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Boone continues to grow in popularity with over 4,000 spectators lining the streets to see one of the 60 floats go through downtown.
Pilar Fotta, the director of cultural resources for the Town of Boone said that everything she has heard so far about the parade has been all good news.
“I have heard people say how wonderful and creative the floats were and how talented the dancers and the people playing music on the floats were,” she said. “I have heard how festive the whole town felt and heard from a couple businesses that it was just an extremely busy day for them. All around, I’ve heard nothing but positive feedback.”
Floats during the parade were judged by a panel of four judges that included Boone Mayor Rennie Brantz, Appalachian State University Chancellor Sheri Everts, Appalachian State football head coach Eli Drinkwitz and U.S. Olympic snowboarder Louie Vito.
The town is already looking ahead to the 2020 parade with hopes of expanding even more.
“We’re hoping to add a few surprises and eventually make this a weekend-long event to start on Friday night, then have Saturday and work in some events even on Sunday so that St. Patrick’s Day in Boone is a whole weekend of activity,” said Fotta.
Double Wood Farm, a farm owned by Appalachian State alumnus Mark Ricks in Virginia, is a huge supporter of not only App State but also the town of Boone. His farm sponsored the event and provided the prize money for the best floats.
Parade prizes were be divided into four categories: College/University, Commercial/Business, Non-Profit and Judge’s Choice with three levels of prizes in each category. The first prize in each judging category will win $1,000, the second prize will win $750, and the third prize will win $500. There was also a “Best in Show” prize for the best overall float, a $2,000 grand prize.
Parade Float Awards
Best in Show: Appalachian Rhythm ($2,000 prize)
First Place: High Country Breast Cancer Foundation, Appalachian Theatre, Mellow Mushroom, the Love Bus/Hardin Park School ($1,000 prize)
Second Place: Appalachian Ambassadors, High Country Guide Service, Kiwanis Club, Sole Impact ($750).
Third Place: Girl Scout Troop #2253, Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture, First Security Insurance, Valle Crucis Gardner’s Club ($500).