(PHOTO CAPTION: Visit Hot Springs Sales Manager Aundrea Crary shows the parade’s green Razorback shirt.)
HOT SPRINGS NATIONAL PARK, Arkansas — The limited edition Hot Springs St. Paddy's Green Arkansas Razorback T-shirt created for the city’s World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade sold out within hours Monday. More will be available by the end of the week, according to Visit Hot Springs CEO Steve Arrison.
“We were just taken by surprise by the demand for the shirts,” Arrison said Monday. “I ordered hundreds of them, but it looks like thousands will be needed to satisfy the demand. I’ve contacted our supplier, and we’ll have a new supply ready for people to purchase by the end of this week.”
“I got more than 50 phone calls at home before breakfast on Saturday morning,” Arrison said. “Most of those people wanted more than one shirt. The shirts didn’t even go on sale until Monday morning We didn’t announce the shirts were available until The Sentinel-Record published an article Saturday morning, and the demand for them took us all by surprise.
“We had hundreds of the shirts on hand, but it looks like thousands are needed to meet the demand for them.”
The shirt was created by Visit Hot Springs to help celebrate the First Ever 19th Annual World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade® scheduled for March 17 on 98-foot Bridge Street.
Arrison said the idea for the shirts, which are officially licensed from the University of Arkansas, arose from the fact that Razorbacks Football Coach Sam Pittman and his wife, Jamie, have agreed to serve as the parade’s king and queen.
The shirt is an officially licensed Razorback item, Visit Hot Springs Marketing Director Bill Solleder said.
The shirts, which sell for $20, are available at the Hot Springs Advertising and Promotion Building at the corner of Convention Boulevard and Malvern Avenue — 105 Convention Boulevard, 71901, Solleder said.
“This isn’t the Convention Center,” he said, “it’s the building that houses our business operations.”
The shirts come in sizes S, M, L, XL and 2XL, Solleder said. They’ll be available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cash or credit cards will be accepted — no checks.
The internationally famous parade will resume in full blossom with a mix of crowd favorites and new entries this year after two years of drastically curtailed parades due to the coronavirus pandemic. Comic legend Cheech Marin will serve as this year’s celebrity grand marshal and actor Danny (Machete) Trejo will be the official starter.
Immediately following the parade will be a free public concert on the Bridge Street stage by rock legends Foghat. On Friday evening on the same stage will be rock band Sugar Ray, again in 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,
marching units, floats, 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.