“In June of 1979, my husband, John, and I were sitting at a bar talking about a St. Patrick’s Day Parade,” said Pat McLaughlin. “It always bothered him that St. Patrick’s Day was not recognized more. He always talked about organizing a parade, I just told him he was crazy.”

“We all put a quarter in a cup – he, I and the bartender – and started the Green Puddle Fund right there in the bar that night. The next day we ran an ad in The Journal and it just grew from there.”

John McLaughlin’s dream came true the following year as Knoxville held it’s first St. Patrick’s Day Parade. After his untimely death in January, his wife vowed to see his dream continue.

Excerpt from the early 1980’s Knoxville Journal, “If you like Irish tales, you’ve found the pot o’ gold with these from Knoxville’s Irish community”, Mike Bradley