Things are hopping in my home town of Maple Lake, MN! This weekend is the 40th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Many of you know that once a year I set my clown nose aside and dance down the street with a wet mop as an Irish Washer Woman.
If you look closely at the photos, you may notice that some of these “women” have more than their fair share of testosterone. That’s okay. On St. Patrick’s Day, everyone is Irish. And every Irish Washer Woman is a woman (at least for the length of the parade)!
On the very first Grande Day Parade in 1978, the original Irish Washer Women were my mother Cathy Manuel along with Annabelle Jude, Marge Hennen, Marian Kloss, Marge Brannan, Shirley McAlpine, Cleone Mooney, and Carol Ertel.
I was a candidate for the first-ever Miss Maple Lake that year. It was a real high class affair: I stood on the tailgate of my parents’ crepe-paper-decorated Jeep waving to the home town crowd, with the temps below freezing.
Guess what? I ended up being crowned Princess!
I still have the crown and wear it every year on top of my mop cap!
And now each March I drag as many friends as I can into a wonderful tradition of “blessing” the crowd with our wet mops.
This year I am afraid those mops will be frozen as the weather has taken a turn for the worse!
…40 years ago I was 15, wondering what my life would be like after high school. I was beginning to think about college and being a journalist.
Change is good, even when we don’t plan for it!
If you want to check out more posts about our crazy tradition of the Irish Washer Women, CLICK HERE.
More links about my hometown or Maple Lake, Minnesota:
- City of Maple Lake, MN
- St. Patrick’s Day Celebration
- Maple Lake Chamber of Commerce
- My local business: The Costume Shoppe in Maple Lake
Looking for more parade ideas and advice? Check out these posts:
- Themed costumes for parade and events
- How to have the best parade EVER!
- Clowning with kids in a parade
- Limber up before your parade
- Parade performance with a Kazoo Band
- Working with what you got
- Patriotic ideas for 4th of July parade
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