Conyers to hold St. Patty's parade

CONYERS -- It will be double the fun on St. Patrick's Day in Conyers as the "World's Fastest Growing St. Patrick's Day Parade" is joined by the first-ever 0.10 mile race.

About 15 minutes after completion of Wednesday's annual parade, runners will take off in "The World's Shortest Endurance Run: Running for the Green (Beer)," from the crosswalk of the Depot in Olde Town Conyers to the crosswalk at The Pointe bar. The tongue-in-cheek run, created by the Rotary Club of Rockdale County, is sponsored by The Pointe bar. There is a $20 entry fee for the endurance race, and proceeds will go toward various charities that the Rotary Club supports.

For those who just can't make it, a water station will be set up at the halfway point of the "endurance" race.

The "World's Fastest Growing St. Patrick's Day Parade" will begin at 4:30 p.m.

The two-block walking parade does without floats, but everyone is invited to spontaneously join in as the parade passes spectators.

"So if you ever had a dream to be part of a parade, this is your chance," said Conyers spokesperson Jennifer Edwards.

Anyone wanting to participate should meet at the corner of Main and Center streets before the parade starts at 4:30 p.m.

The one-of-a-kind event has been a Conyers staple for the last quarter of a century. It started when former Mayor Charles Walker and former City Councilman Bill Spivey danced an Irish jig down Main Street in 1985.

Mayor Randy Mills will lead the parade as grand marshal. Walker and former city councilmen Bill Rogers and Spivey will serve as honorary grand marshals this year.

Robert Harwell of Snellville will add to the Irish celebration with tunes from his bagpipe during the parade processional. Local businesses and school groups will also participate in the parade. After the parade, a king and queen will be crowned in the Olde Town pavilion and complimentary refreshments will be served.

There will be traditional Irish dishes, more live music and entertainment throughout the evening at select restaurants and businesses in Olde Town. Various discounts and food and drink specials will also be available for those who attend the parade.

"I think it's just a unique way for everyone to come together and celebrate a fun event," Edwards said. "It's a day when everyone can be Irish in Olde Town."

Commercial Street will be closed from 3 p.m. to midnight for the event.