(PHOTO CAPTION: Monte Everhart as The World’s Biggest Leprechaun.)
HOT SPRINGS NATIONAL PARK, Arkansas — “Did the Razorbacks win the Outback Bowl?
“Do the horses run at Oaklawn?
“Is Lake Hamilton full of fish?
“Is that water coming out of the ground on Hot Springs Mountain hot?
“Well, that’s how certain it is that on March 17, 2022, the First Ever 19th Annual World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade® is going to cover the 98-foot length of Bridge Street in downtown Hot Springs.”
The speaker is Monte Everhart, The World’s Biggest Leprechaun, who will be right in the middle of that parade come March 17.
“I’ve been asked quite a few times in the last few days if Hot Springs is going to have ‘that St. Patrick’s Day Parade’ this year. I guess some people think that because covid forced us to curtail the parade in 2020 and 2021 we might not have one here in 2022.
“The short answer is that, heck yeah, we’re marching March 17 at 6:30 p.m.”
Steve Arrison, CEO of Visit Hot Springs and one of the founders of the internationally famous parade, said he, too, had been asked if the parade might be curtailed again this year.
“The parade is on,” Arrison said. “Cheech Marin and Danny (Machete) Trejo have had their bags packed since 2020 to serve as the celebrity grand marshal and official starter of the parade, and they’ve said they can’t wait to get to Hot Springs and help revive the parade in all its massive glory.
“The World’s Largest Potato on Wheels is wending its way toward Arkansas to make a return appearance. Razorback Coach Sam Pittman and his wife, Jamie, are ready to be our parade king and queen. We’re ready to ‘get it on’ on Bridge Street!”
Here is the official timeline for the 2022 parade:
• 3 p.m. — Bridge Street LIVE! Entertainment District opens
• 4 p.m. — Blarney Stone Kissing Contest at the Arkansas Blarney Stone on Convention Boulevard
• 5 p.m. — Pre-Parade Festivities begin on Bridge Street
• 6:25 p.m. — Official Measuring of 98-foot-long Bridge Street
• 6:30 p.m. — The World's Shortest St Patrick’s Day Parade begins
• Conclusion of parade — Free Foghat concert begins on the Bridge Street Stage
Everhart will be joined this year by a new leprechaun buddy, Arkansas radio personality Roger Scott, a Hot Springs native, who will help whip up the crowd as the parade’s official leprechaun duo.
The late Dick Antoine, who passed away in 2021, was the parade’s World’s Tallest Leprechaun from the very beginning of the parade in 2003 until health issues forced him to retire in 2020.
“Dick Antoine was a tireless advocate for Hot Springs for a generation,” Arrison said. “He was involved with the St. Patrick’s Day Parade from the inception until 2020, and he and Monte, The World’s Biggest Leprechaun, entertained hundreds of thousands of parade-goers over the years.
“No one can ever replace Dick, but Roger will prove to be just as entertaining for the crowds.”
Scott is one of the hosts of the wildly popular “Morning Mayhem” show on Little Rock radio station 103.7 The Buzz.
In addition to the guest celebrities, there will again be two free public music concerts associated with the 2022 parade. Immediately following the parade on March 17 will be an appearance by Foghat at the Bridge Street Stage, and on March 18, Sugar Ray will hold a free public concert. No chairs or coolers will be permitted at either concert, according to Arrison.
The parade, which began in 2003, annually attracts crowds of upwards of 30,000 people to watch an insanely zany collection of Irish Elvis impersonators, green Irish wolfhounds, marching units such as Paddy O’Furniture, Irish belly dancers and the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, as well as other unique units cover the 98-foot length of Bridge Street, the World’s Shortest Street in Everyday Use.
For more information call Steve Arrison at 501-321-2027.