For several years Steve Brown, owner of the Tractor Bar in Mt. Nebo, had been talking about his plan to host a Saint Patrick’s Day Parade on the road right in front of the bar. In 2006, it was time for Mr. Brown to put up or shut up. So that year he, with a little help from his staff and a few friends, announced there would be a Parade on Friday evening March 17, 2006. There was a contest for a Parade Queen which helped generate some buzz, which is how I became a fan of this parade. Then came parade day and people showed up; there was a handful of floats from local businesses and organizations, several antique tractors and even some dogs and livestock. It was a really fun event, and we all hoped they would do it again.
The first year of the parade was a success so Steve decided to do it again. He thought this might an opportunity to raise a little money to help out the community someway. He enlisted some of his close friends and they started planning another parade. They decided any monies that were raised that year would be given to help a scholarship fund that was in the memory of a few local boys. That year even more people showed up to be in the parade and watch it. We all bought raffle tickets and refreshments to support the scholarship fund. With valuable support from people such as Barbara LeRose, Ken Altizer, Ted McClung, and Joann Sizemore this thing was going to be successful, entertaining, and philanthropic. The first year they raised $1400 to help out that scholarship fund.
Then it was decided that they needed a society of folks to help raise money and they could so by giving people the honor of being a Leprechaun (for a small fee that helped with the fund raising of course). Hence The Grand Order of the Royal Leprechauns was formed. These folks paid their fees, received their green blazer denoting their status, and were initiated at a secret ceremony filled with merriment and sincere sentiment. There have been a few naysayers along the way but still it grew and grew in popularity and desire to help worthwhile community causes.
A lot has happened since 2006, the Road is now named St. Patrick's Boulevard and to date over 400 people have signed up to become Leprechauns in support of area non-profit organizations. Many students have received scholarships to help fund their education and the parade organizers have granted almost half a million dollars back to these valuable organizations and programs that need this monetary support to continue providing services to our community.
Meteorologist, WOWK News
Reporter, WCHS/WVAH News
John and Debbie Ceslovnik
H.T. "Grover" McClung