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Saint Patrick’s Day Parade set for March 16

February 13, 2019
By MEGHAN BRADBURY ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

Entrants are being accepted for the annual Saint Patrick's Day Parade, which is being held the day before the holiday.

Parade Chairman Ray Murphy said he started the parade 21 years ago when he was first on the Town of Fort Myers Beach council.

"We had a pretty good Irish American population on the beach," he said.

A friend of Murphy, Father Tom Goggin encouraged him to start the parade on the beach.

"He started the Naples Saint Patrick's Day parade. That is one of the largest daytime parades in the State of Florida," Murphy said.

Those interested in entering the parade should contact Murphy by calling (239) 591-8803, or by emailing He will provide information regarding registration and entry fees.

The parade will be held on Saturday, March 16.

"We have it every year on Saint Patrick's day except every seven years when it falls on a Sunday," he explained, due to the parade ending in the Church of the Ascension parking lot.

Entrants will gather in the parking lot of Santini Marina Plaza between 8:30 and 9 a.m. to be checked in, before leaving promptly at 10 a.m. The parade will head north on Estero Boulevard one mile to the Church of the Ascension parking lot and end at 11 a.m.

Traffic will be stopped on Estero Boulevard between 9:45 a.m. and 11 a.m. with assistance from the Lee County Sheriff's Office.

Murphy said there are usually 30 to 40 groups that participate in the parade ranging from different businesses having floats decorated in Saint Patrick's Day colors, Irish clubs, nonprofit organizations, neighborhood and condominium association groups.

"It's a nice mix," he said.

Murphy said being the chairman of the parade has been a labor of love.

"Every year I say I will pass it on. I was going to do it after 20 (years). Now I will try to make 25 (years)," he said.



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