Glasses are being raised because the popular St. Patrick’s Day parade in Michigan City is coming back this year.
The well-attended parade, canceled in 2017 after a 14-year run, is returning because more community members stepped up and became involved, said Johnny Stimley, parade chairman and City Council member.
Stimley said the Saturday parade will have the usual 100 or so units and numerous bagpipe players in kilts.
Miss Indiana Haley Begay and the recent Class A state champion Marquette High School girls basketball team will also be in the parade beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday on Franklin Street from 10th to Fourth streets.
"If it’s good weather, I can see more than 5,000 people attending the parade," Stimley said.
Stimley, owner of Ryan’s Irish Pub, 401 Franklin St., is also a member of the Michigan City Main Street Association, a major sponsor of the parade.
Michigan City Mayor Ron Meer said he was involved in the effort to work out issues that resulted in last year’s cancellation.
The city, always in a supporting role for the parade, is helping with things like providing security and promoting the event.
"We’re glad it’s back," Meer said.
The LaPorte County Convention & Visitors Bureau was approached last year about taking over the parade but declined.
Jack Arnett, executive director of the LCCVB, said his agency would not be able to give the parade enough attention in areas like planning.
"I think people are just happy to see it back," Arnett said.
A number of activities will be occurring before and after the parade, like a 2 p.m. magic show by Matt Kalita at the Michigan City Public Library and three charter buses running to 10 pubs and restaurants from 3 to 10 p.m.
Stimley said the parade is still open to anyone who wants to be in the procession at no cost.
The parade is held the Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day to avoid competing with parades in larger communities like Chicago and South Bend, he said.