CONYERS -- It's time to don the green stuff and celebrate all things Irish as the community marks St. Patrick's Day with a parade and its encore World's Shortest Endurance Run.
The city's famous World's Fastest Growing St. Patrick's Day Parade begins at 4:30 p.m. today starting at the corner of Main and Center streets in Olde Town. The two-block walking parade starts near Evans Pharmacy and circles around to the Olde Town pavilion.
Motorists are advised of heavier traffic this afternoon and of some road closings through this evening. Center Street will be closed from 4 to 5 p.m. for the parade and Commercial Street will be closed from 3 to 11 p.m. for festivities.
As the name suggests, the parade grows quickly because spectators actually join in the procession, right as the parade is moving through the street. Local businesses and school groups will also be participating and Robert Harwell will fill the air with Irish tunes from his bagpipe during the parade.
Mayor Randy Mills will lead the parade as grand marshal. Former mayor Charles Walker and former city councilmen Bill Rogers and Bill Spivey will serve as honorary grand marshals.
The parade concludes at the pavilion with live Irish entertainment, complimentary refreshments, and the crowning of the St. Patrick's Day king and queen.
The Conyers Main Street Program sponsors the annual celebration.
Stores and restaurants in the Olde Town district will be open and offering discounts, food and drink specials for parade-goers. Live music and traditional Irish dishes will be available in select restaurants until 11 p.m.
The end of the parade will also signal the start of the second annual World's Shortest Endurance Run, created by the Rotary Club of Rockdale County.
Race participants will take their mark at the crosswalk of the Depot to sprint, run, walk or skip exactly 1/10 of a mile to the crosswalk at The Pointe bar. And for those who just can't make it, a water station will be set up at the halfway point of the "endurance" race. Proceeds from race registration will go toward various charities that the Rotary Club supports.
Conyers has been going strong with its annual parade since 1985 when former Mayor Walker and former Councilman Spivey danced an Irish jig down Main Street.
Anyone who wants to participate in the parade and show his or her Irish spirit is encouraged to meet at the corner of Main and Center streets prior to 4:30 p.m.
For more information, call the Conyers Welcome Center at 770-602-2606.