St. Patrick's Day Parade happening in Fargo-Moorhead regardless of the weather, organizers say
FARGO — Despite the blizzard expected to descend on Fargo-Moorhead Wednesday into Thursday, the 23rd annual St. Patrick's Day Parade is still planned for Saturday, March 16.
“Rain or snow or shine, we are still having a parade,” said Melissa Rademacher, president of the Downtown Community Partnership, a group organizing the parade.
It's been a rollercoaster year for the event.
Back in January, organizers said the parade was cancelled. But in February, plans were revived with a new route expanded into Moorhead. It starts at Moorhead Center Mall and carries over to Center Avenue before crossing the bridge onto NP Avenue in Fargo and ending on Broadway.
Moorhead crews are ready to remove snow from the route after the storm. Though, Steve Moore, Moorhead's public works director, said if the storm drags on there will be less time to clear sidewalks for the parade and an alternative plan would involve using barricades to set up safe viewing areas.
"It's not great to have a parade scheduled right after a snow event," he said.
Ben Dow, Fargo's public works director, said for the first time in more than 20 years, his department is planning to potentially double staffing by contracting out more operators to help haul snow from downtown.
"Because of the severity and blizzard conditions, our staff will still be fighting these winds and working on neighborhoods," Dow said. "It’s predicted to be the worst storm we have seen this year."
Fargo has been contracting equipment all winter, but with this storm the city will likely hire operators to help Dow's team clear downtown. Dow said his department is still working on clearing out the 9 inches of snow from over the weekend and will work around the clock to make downtown ready for the parade.
Dow said with the storm and parade, there will be enforced parking restrictions along Broadway beginning overnight Friday. Cars in violation will be impounded, he said. Dow advised drivers parking along NP Avenue to be cognizant of snow-removal efforts and the parade.