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March 22. 2013 11:12PM

Feeling lucky? Come out for the big parade

MANCHESTER - In keeping with its tradition, the Queen City's St. Patrick's Day Parade, which is expected to draw about 50,000 spectators, will be held Sunday, one week after the holiday appreciating Irish heritage.

The parade is held after the actual holiday so organizers do not have to compete to attract marching bands and other entertainment against parades that are held in similarly-sized cities and in the hopes that, by waiting an extra week, the weather might be a bit warmer, according to the parade's website.

The New Hampshire Union Leader is a media sponsor of this year's 18th annual parade, which begins at noon Sunday on Elm Street at its intersection with Salmon Street and will run south to Elm Street's intersection with Central Street.

The parade features four bagpipe bands and three high school marching bands, including the well-traveled Londonderry High School marching band, which has performed at the last two presidential inaugurations. The Shriners will scoot along in mini monster trucks and two fife and drum bands will perform, as well as a drum and bugle corps.

Before the parade, about 3,000 runners are expected to participate in the 3rd annual Shamrock Shuffle 2-mile race, which will begin at 11 a.m. at Veterans Park.

Much of Elm Street will be closed Sunday for the parade and the Shamrock Shuffle, according to the city police department.

According to police:

-- Elm Street from Granite Street to Merrimack Street will be closed from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. This will include Pleasant Street and Central Street ­- both for the first block adjacent to Elm Street.

-- Elm Street from Webster Street to Sagamore Street will be closed from 9:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. The closures include some side streets in the area.

-- Eastbound traffic on the Amoskeag Bridge will be diverted to Canal Street beginning at 10 a.m.

-- The entire length of Elm Street from Webster Street to Granite Street will be closed from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The closure includes eastbound traffic on Bridge Street, which will be diverted to Canal Street via Spring Street.

Information about the parade can be found at saintpatsnh.com and information about the Shamrock Shuffle can be found at millenniumrunning.com/shamrock. Questions about the road closures can be directed to Sgt. Andrew Vincent at 792-5439 or Lt. James Flanagan at 792-5438.

tbuckland@unionleader.com


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