Greensboro’s LeBauer Park celebrated Saint Patrick’s Day on Saturday with a family-friendly event that truly had something for everyone. From 11 a.m. until 3 p.m., the grounds of Greensboro’s newest downtown park were energized with crowds decked out in traditional Kelly Green for the second-annual Saint Patrick’s Day In The Park festival.
This year, Saint Patrick’s Day saw some beautiful spring weather, with above-usual temperatures and blue skies drawing families out to this festival. Crowds of children played on the playground equipment, and a whole herd of furry dogs played fetch in the park’s dog park.
“This is my first Saint Patrick’s Day in a while where I haven’t been working at an Irish Pub,” said Molly Brady, a Greensboro resident, who brought her family to the festival. “And I love being able to celebrate with my nephew. He’s got his Irish suspenders on and he’s ready to party!”
Lines for the Greensboro Grasshopper’s-sponsored “Hoppin’ Hound Dogs” and Ghassan’s Fresh Mediterranean Eats stayed busy the entire time. Local vendors were lined up across the park’s field and sold a variety of goodies: from dog bandanas to handmade soaps, wall-hangings from local artists to cupcakes and cookies. Every now and then, you could spot a little kid with an elaborate green face painting roaming the park.
Even amongst the sea of green, it was easy to spot the LimeBike staff, wearing their signature green-and-neon-yellow garb. They tabled the event and handed out information on bike safety to parents and children, as well as plugged their environmentally-friendly biking service that has recently made a splash on UNCG’s campus.
The event kicked off at 11:15 a.m. with a storytime session, sponsored by the Greensboro Public Library. Mr. Pete is the resident Preschool Storytimes’ reader and holds these sessions every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. for Greensboro kids.
Next, at 12 p.m., the Walker Family Band paid a visit to the LeBauer Park stage. They have been playing their mix of Irish, old-time and jazz music for over 10 years now, and describe themselves as “three “boomer generation buys” complemented by a “now generation” fiddle gal extraordinaire.” Their Irish dance tunes fit the scene perfectly, and you could see kids and parents dancing in circles to the bright sound of fiddle music.
On the theme of Irish music, Saint Patrick’s Day wouldn’t be complete without a visit from a traditional bagpiper! Michael Holian made LeBauer Park a stop on his jam-packed day of appearances. Holian has spent 25 years crafting his specialization in Highland and Uilleann Pipes, and usually plays gigs like weddings, funerals and at pubs around the Triad. He was the Pipe Sergeant with Tara Pipes and Drums in New York and directed the Irish bagpipe band Ceol na Gael Pipes and Drums in Charlotte, North Carolina.
People enjoyed the traditional Irish music.
“It is always amazing to me that one bagpiper can make so much sound,” Brady said.
A performance by the Greensboro Ballet rounded out the day’s festivities. Young dancers in bright costumes performed a routine called “Balloons,” incorporating, you guessed it, brilliantly colored balloons.
Festivities like Saturday’s Saint Patrick’s Day in the Park show the capacity LeBauer Park has for community development. It serves as a great space for events that involve families of all shapes and sizes, and with a lot of free programs, it truly gives everyone in the community a chance to celebrate.
Later this year, Greensboro will welcome the Carolina Blues Festival to LeBauer Park on May 19 and 20. In this partnership with the Greensboro Bound literary festival, this event will give book vendors a chance to showcase their favorite authors, as well as bring some great music to downtown.
For a full list of LeBauer Park’s programming and news, you can visit http://www.greensboro-nc.gov.