Cottleville goes green

Cottleville Firefighters Outreach Shamrock Run & Parade has become the region’s fastest-growing St. Patrick’s Day celebration


By Brett Auten

For Keith Smallenberger, it’s his Christmas. And then some.

“It’s every holiday wrapped into one,” the Lake St. Louis resident said.

Smallenberger is the self-professed, “loud-mouth with the microphone trying to get the crowd riled up,” for the O’Hara’s Clan float and his favorite day of the year is coming up.

The ever-popular and ever-growing Cottleville Firefighters Outreach Shamrock Run & Parade are slated Saturday in Cottleville. It is the 12th incarnation of the gathering that has seen crowds in the past swell to 40,000.

Garrett Ryan, Executive Director of the Cottleville Firefighters Outreach and parade chairman, said the mix of a kid-friendly atmosphere and gallons of green beer is what keeps the parade growing and growing. You won’t find utter and complete bawdy debauchery in Cottleville, yet you can let your hair down. Soccer moms and college bros can exist in harmony.

“The duality of the groups is a fun part of it,” Ryan said. “When the weather is perfect, (the crowd size) is pretty wild.”

Carla Klaskin is the Community Liaison with Mercy Hospital Tri-County Regional Office. It will be her seventh year walking alongside the Mercy float.

“There is a lot of energy and you don’t have to go outside St. Charles County,” Klaskin said. “Everyone really loves having it here. Its great people can come together in a time of celebration.”

The parade starts at a new time, 11:30 a.m., on Weiss Road near the Warren Elementary school entrance. It will travel down Weiss Road on to Hwy. N through historic downtown Cottleville and end at Francis Howell Central High School entrance. The parade is expected to end at 1:30 p.m. However, the roads will not reopen until crowds have dispersed. The float pathway will be narrowed allowing for additional room behind the barricades for parade watchers along the route and on shoulders of the roadway.  

Ryan recommends parking at St. Charles Community College (no public parking on the orange lot) and using free shuttles traveling between the college and downtown Cottleville while the roads are open. SCC is approximately 1.5 miles from downtown Cottleville and the paved walking trails may be much quicker than the shuttles when the crowds are large. There is no parking on any private property without permission. Non-permitted vehicles parked in resident/owner-only zones may be towed at the owner’s expense. No pets, large coolers, or other large items will be allowed on the shuttles. Shuttle times are as follows:

6:30 a.m. – Shuttle service begins
7:30 a.m. – Road closures begin; no shuttle service
8 a.m. – Shamrock Run begins – roads closed
9:30 a.m. – Roads reopen; shuttle service resumes
11 a.m. – Road closures resume; no shuttle service
11:30 a.m. – Shamrock Parade begins – roads closed
1:30 p.m. – Roads reopen; shuttle service resumes
4 p.m. – Shuttle service ends

For more in-depth shuttle information, visit  www.shamrockparade.com.

Parking

Francis Howell Central Parents Club plans to offer paid parking for the school lot. Handicap accessible parking is also available at Francis Howell Central. Spartan Football Booster Club will be selling food and drink at the entrance of FHC and Highway N.

St. Joseph Church Youth Ministries has $10 parking with entry to the church lot from Motherhead/Gutermuth Roads only. St. Joseph Church is also offering $20 reserved parking near the front of the Church that you can purchase now at the Parish Center office.

Tents and setting up early to watch the parade

Barricades will be set out on Thursday and Friday. Once they are in place, public spaces are first-come, first-serve. Tents can be set up only after the barricades are erected on Friday.  Tents and chairs are allowed so long as they meet the following guidelines: They are set up on Friday after the barricades have been placed. They are not blocking or inhibiting movement on public sidewalks, trails, parking spaces or intersections. They are not attached to the barricades or inhibiting the movement of the barricades. They are not on private property without the owner’s permission.

Any items that do not meet these criteria may be moved or confiscated by the Cottleville Police Department. Confiscated items will be available for pickup at the Cottleville City Hall on Monday.

Road closures and traffic congestion

Roads into downtown Cottleville will be closed to anyone without a travel pass between 7 a.m. – approximately 2 p.m. on Saturday. The roads will not reopen until crowds have dispersed after the parade. Surrounding areas will have heavy traffic. Ryan suggests that you plan accordingly and note that these times may vary and the roads will not reopen until crowds have dispersed.

Motherhead at Gutermuth Road will be closed unless you are gaining entry to paid parking at St. Joseph Church.

Highway N will be closed just east of the Knights of Columbus (5701 Hwy N).

Weiss Road at Cottleville Parkway will be closed. Resident and business passes may be used during local traffic only times via Lohmar Lane in this area.

Highway N will be closed at FHC Campus Drive. Resident & business passes may be used during local traffic only times from Mid Rivers Mall Drive.

Resident and business passes

St. Patrick’s resident and business travel passes for those located within the run or parade route can be obtained Mon-Fri from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at Cottleville City Hall. This includes Harmony Ridge, Madison Park, Rosedale, Old Town Historic Area, and Timberwood Farms Subdivisions. When the roads are closed during the run and parade, no traffic is allowed through even if you or your employees have a business or resident travel pass. These passes are to be used during “open to local traffic” only times.

The 5K Shamrock Run

The 5K Shamrock Run begins at 8 a.m. and features a new route around Cottleville. The race starts at Highway N and Chestnut and ends on Highway N just past 5th Street. For the safety of the runners, they will begin clearing the route at 7:30 a.m. The business owners and residents between Cedarfield Dr. (Timberwood Farms) and Mid Rivers Mall Drive will not have any closures during the run this year.

Volunteers are still needed for the Shamrock Run & Parade between March 9-14, contact Ryan at 636-447-6655.  All proceeds got to support the Cottleville Firefighter Outreach’s ongoing fundraising efforts. For additional event details, check out www.shamrockparade.com.

CUTLINE: Submitted photos Once again, a large crowd is expected for Saturday’s Cottleville’s Shamrock Run and Parade. The parade starts at 11:30 a.m. Roads into downtown Cottleville will be closed to anyone without a travel pass between 7 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturday. The roads will not reopen until crowds have dispersed after the parade. Surrounding areas will have heavy traffic.