DES MOINES, IA - The 2016 Friendly Sons of St. Patrick Parade will be held on Friday, March 18, the day after the holiday. The move is a collaborative effort to enhance both the parade goers and the NCAA fans experiences in Des Moines. The 2016 NCAA® Division I Men's Basketball Championship first and second rounds kick off on Thursday, March 17 with a break in games on Friday, March 18. Games resume the following day, Saturday, March 19.
"We reached out to Friendly Sons of St. Patrick to determine how we could help make these two great events complement each other," says Greg Edwards, President and CEO of the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau and Des Moines Area Sports Commission. "We wanted to find a way for the parade to leverage the additional visitors who will be here, while also ensuring that locals still have an enjoyable experience."
The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of Central Iowa organizes and executes the parade. In partnership with the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau and the City of Des Moines, the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick saw an opportunity to attract more attendees, offer unique performances and alleviate traffic and congestion for locals and visitors coming in to downtown.
"The change in date allows us to showcase our parade to thousands of out-of-town visitors," said Mike O'Connell, President of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of Central Iowa. "We are also hoping to attract NCAA pep bands, spirit squads and teams to participate in our parade, which would provide a really unique entertainment enhancement for those who attend."
The parade will begin at Noon and will run the same route as previous years. "Our local organizing committee will be reaching out to NCAA to ensure that fans and teams receive proper communication about how they can experience and get involved with this event," adds Edwards.
For more information on the parade visit, friendlysonsiowa.com/parade.htm.
For more information on the 2016 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship first and second rounds in Greater Des Moines, visit catchdesmoines.com/sports/ncaa-basketball.The Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau, the parent organization of the Des Moines Area Sports Commission, is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to market the region as a visitor destination increasing economic growth and enhancing the visitor experience. The Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau and Des Moines Area Sports Commission represent the following municipalities: Altoona, Ankeny, Clive, Des Moines, Grimes, Indianola, Johnston, Perry, Pleasant Hill, Polk City, Polk County, Urbandale, West Des Moines and Windsor Heights.