COPY-Wabasha celebrates St. Patrick's Day - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

COPY-Wabasha celebrates St. Patrick's Day

Wabasha, Minn. (KTTC)--Wabasha's 25th annual St. Patrick's Day Parade was held on Saturday.  Many came out to enjoy the festivities which concluded with a party at the VFW Post. 

"It means fun, it means gathering, it means honoring St. Patrick who brought Christianity to Ireland," said Lori Cashman of Red Wing.  "It means green beer, corn beef and cabbage, it means a parade. It means a lot of fun."

The occasion is a day of fun for the whole family.

"My mother thought it was more important than Christmas," said Mary Arens.  "It's just a celebration of heritage and it's wonderful to have family here."

But this St. Patrick's Day the "family" that's gathered is missing a member.  James "Jake" Abbott was a co-founder of the parade.  He passed away in February.

"We're all missing Jake Abbott.  He was one of the starters. And we all sang when Irish Eyes are Smiling in memory of him," said Arens.

"It's been tough," said co-founder, Carla Schuth.  "He's here though."

Schuth met with Abbott and another friend each St. Patrick's Day until 25 years ago when their regular meeting spot was disturbed.

"They took the phone booth away from the bank corner where the three of us used to meet," said Schuth.  "Then we decided that we have to do something so we started a parade."

Now, the parade has become a day-long event complete with music, corned beef and cabbage and green beer.  Participants in this years parade will also be marching in Lake City's St. Patrick's Day Parade on Sunday.                                                                                          

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