First responders to serve as Grand Marshal of St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Ventura County’s 30th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade will honor the men and women who heroically battled the devastating Thomas Fire, and those who assisted the fire victims.

First responders will serve as grand marshal of the parade, which begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 17, in front of Mission San Buenaventura on East Main Street in Ventura. The theme is “Ventura Strong.”

“We are proud to have as our grand marshal those brave men and women who were the first responders,” said Jim Monahan, co-chair of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee. “We hope the whole county will come out on St. Patrick’s Day to say thanks by lining Main Street with thank-you signs.”

“This was a truly devastating event, to our entire community and beyond,” said Monahan. “In addition to the two deaths, so many residents of Ventura and Santa Barbara counties lost everything they own. In Ventura alone, more than 500 structures were destroyed. And yet we know, it could have been much worse. We can’t give enough thanks to those who fought back this crushing fire.”

The parade will honor the multi-agency response from, among others, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), the Ventura County Fire Department, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, the City of Ventura Fire Department and the Ventura Police Department.

Last year’s parade drew over 90 entries, including floats sponsored by civic groups, nonprofits and local businesses and restaurants; marching bands; car clubs; horses; and clowns.

The Ventura County St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which ends at Ash Street, is presented by the Ventura Elks Lodge No. 1430. The event’s committee is accepting entries for this year’s parade. For entry forms or more information, visit www.venturastpatricksdayparade.com, contact Jim Monahan at jim.monahan@att.net or 643-4275, or email Nan Drake at nanodrake@aol.com.

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