The St. Patrick’s Day parade Downtown on Beale Street is tomorrow! Check out this incredible article about its history!

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade originally was part of the Irish Eyes of Memphis pub crawl, which began 43 years ago, said Joellyn Sullivan. Silky, the late restaurateur Thomas Boggs and Mark Flanagan “founded the original pub crawl,” she said. “It started Downtown and would go down Madison Avenue. Every single place — every bar — from Downtown to Overton Square was included as a stop in the pub crawl.”

The parade, which was held on St. Patrick’s Day, originally began at Murphy’s at 1589 Madison and ended in Overton Square, Sullivan said. When Silky opened Silky O’Sullivan’s in 1992 on Beale Street, St. Patrick’s celebrations were held at Silky Sullivan’s — Silky’s Overton Square bar — as well as the Downtown location, Sullivan said. “Once we closed in Overton Square in ’98, the parade moved completely down here.”

Wight Boggs Laminack, who was married to Thomas Boggs, will be grand marshal. Les McCurdy will be “Irishman of the Year,” Sullivan said. “He’s clearly of Irish heritage. He was in Memphis at some time in the early days of the founding of the St. Patrick’s pub crawl. He was the original leprechaun. He worked in Overton Square, including Friday’s. Now he is in Florida and owns a comedy club.”

Read more at The Commercial Appeal >