Be a lucky charm! Donation drive held before local parade - WNEM TV 5

Be a lucky charm! Donation drive held before local parade

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BAY CITY, MI (WNEM) -

Across the country and across the state, folks are celebrating St. Patrick's Day. It isn't just a day for beer and corn beef, though. A local community is using the holiday to give back to those who need it most. 

"Oh it's incredible, there is nothing like being able to reach into people's lives and watch them smile and say thank you."

Pastor Steve Roe said he's enjoying the celebration of St. Patrick's Day, especially the local festivities taking place all weekend in Bay City.

Roe said the holiday is the perfect time to give back.

The Safe Harbor Kitchen serves two hot meals a week and runs a food pantry. They're holding a donation drive in conjunction with this weekend's celebrations.

Volunteers said there's a unique way to support the kitchen and it's as simple as attending the Bay City St. Patrick’s Day parade.

"So, what we do is before the parade kicks off on Sunday at 2 p.m. on the 19th, we'll run truck on the parade route with a bunch of volunteers and we ask everybody to bring a non-perishable food item and we load everything up in the truck and we bring it over here and we give it out for the next few months to the people in need,” Chad Cunningham said.

Safe Harbor Kitchen is inviting parade goers to bring non-perishable food items as a donation, which will in turn, go right back out to their community.

Roe said it's important to keep up with their growing success.

"Last month with our record of over 3,500 pounds of food went out, it's just unreal watching people line up, some on their bikes even. And your heart goes out to them, but you're so thankful that you're able to help them and send them out with some food that they may not have without our help,” Roe said.

For more information on the donation drive, click here

History of the St. Patrick's Day Parade

This weekend Bay City will be a sea of green as the community is hosting its 63rd annual St. Patrick’s Day parade.

The parade is considered one of the largest in the state of Michigan. It was first held on St. Patrick’s Day back in 1955.

Close to 10,000 people gathered at Center Avenue and Monroe to get a glimpse of all the spectacular floats and the St. Patrick's Day queen riding on "harp" theme float.

Past parades have featured the Notre Dame marching band, as well as Michigan’s governor, Uncle Sam, and even a leprechaun!

Upcoming weekend events

Saturday night there will be an Irish ceili party at the Lumber Barons restaurant from 7:00 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Sunday morning there will be a flag raising ceremony at the Bay County building at 10:00 a.m.

Before the parade, the Catholic Federal Credit Union is hosting a bunch of huge races. Each race will take place on Center Avenue. On Saturday, the leprechaun run takes place at 2:00 p.m.

Sunday morning, the 8-k and the Irish Double Run kick off at 9:30 a.m. and the 5-k run and walk kick off at 11:30 a.m.

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