Charlotte Goes Green!

An audience of 80,000 are expected to enjoy the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Charlotte, North Carolina today, as part of the 17th annual Charlotte Goes Green Festival. Linda Hart explains.

What are your roles or responsibilities with the event?
My role as Executive Director of the Charlotte St. Patrick’s Day Parade, involves public relations, working with the City of Charlotte and reaching out to the community to always look for new and creative Celtic groups to participate in the Parade.

What is the event’s core mandate?
The core mandate is to promote the Irish & Celtic community in the way of music, dance, Celtic arts &Crafts and Celtic food.

How has it grown over the years?
The first year we had a small group of people march down the street. Last year, we had approximately 80,000 attendees. Charlotte has become a destination City for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Charlotte Goes Green Festival.

Who attends the gathering?
It is very family oriented event and draws wide demographics.  We also have been finding recently that we are getting more out of town visitors coming exclusively for this event.  Many come to enjoy the Parade & festival and many stay in the Carolinas for the weekend as the weather is fabulous!

What can we expect the experience to be like this year?
We have the largest parade to date with over 130 units marching and many more floats. We had to extend the route of the parade due to the large attendance last year. That is a good thing!

Why is it an important event for the Celtic Community there?
It is a great way to celebrate the Celtic Culture through Celtic music, dance Celtic Arts & Crafts and Celtic food.

What are plans for the event in the years to come?
To increase Celtic vendors from across the country as we are always seeking new entertainment and vendors.

Is enough being done to preserve and promote Celtic culture in general?
I do believe that in this area a lot is being done to promote the Celtic Culture. This area has a rich heritage of Scots-Irish people and more recently many Irish American transplants moving to the South and also many people from Ireland moving to the area.

What can be done better?
More publicity so that people in other parts of the Country can plan on coming to Charlotte to attend next year!