A Knoxville Tradition

Saint Patrick’s Day began as a religious holiday in Ireland for Irish Catholics. In America, it has become a day to celebrate Irish heritage and culture. Wanting to celebrate East Tennessee’s rich Irish heritage and acknowledge the role of Irish immigrants and Americans of Scots-Irish descent have played in the history of Knoxville, Josh & Chandle Turbyville and Christy Watkins brought the St. Patrick’s Day Parade back to Knoxville.

The Green Puddle Fund

“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

Save the Date!

Cel-O’bragh-tion: Friday, March 15, 2019 & Parade: Saturday, March 16, 2019

Saint Patrick’s Day began as a religious holiday in Ireland for Irish Catholics. In America, it has become a day to celebrate Irish heritage and culture. What a better way to celebrate than with a parade! Wanting to celebrate East Tennessee’s rich Irish heritage and acknowledge the role of Irish immigrants and Americans of Scots-Irish descent have played in the history have played in the history of Knoxville, Josh & Chandle Turbyville and Christy Watkins have brought the St. Patrick’s Day Parade back to Knoxville.

Get Involved

Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day!

There are several ways to get involved with the parade and festivities:
Participate in the parade by float or walking. Watch the parade from the streets of downtown Knoxville. Become a sponsor or a vendor. Donate. Join the Cel-O’bragh-tion!

If you have questions about the event, contact us at knoxstpatricksparade@gmail.com.