HOT SPRINGS NATIONAL PARK, Arkansas — The little parade that grew and grew has added more international recognition to its long list of praise, including ranking by NBC’s “Today” show as one of the 10 Best St. Patrick’s Day Parades for Families.
The World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which will have its 11th anniversary March 17 on world-famous Bridge Street in downtown Hot Springs, was named No. 6 on “Today’s” list shortly after last year’s event.
The parade also was honored by the Top 10 Reviews website and the Vacation Rentals internet site.
The “Today” show listing, carried on the www.today.com/travel website, says of the Hot Springs parade, which it ranks as No. 6 nationally: “Hot Springs . . . may have the shortest parade route, 98 feet down Bridge Street, but it may be among the most fun.” The listing describes the 2012 parade, which featured TV/movie star Tim Matheson and the Famous Chicken to entertain the children.
“Today’s” Top 10: Boston; Savannah; Chicago; Kansas City; San Francisco; Hot Springs; St. Paul; New York; Philadelphia; San Antonio.
The Top 10 Reviews list also places Hot Springs’ parade at No. 6 on its list of “the best parades that make even the biggies get green with envy.”
It says, “This particular Paddy Day Parade is big because it is small. Held on ‘The Shortest Street in the World,’ Bridge Street. The parade also features Elvis look-alikes and has honored several Grand Parade Marshals like actors from the show ‘Cheers,’ Pauly Shore and Mario Lopez.”
The website’s Top 10: New York; Dublin, Ireland; Chicago; Boston; Hot Springs; Holyoke, Mass.; New Orleans; Scranton, Pa.; Syracuse, N.Y.
The VacationRentals.com list places Hot Springs’ parade at No. 7, saying, “According to Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Bridge Street is ‘The Shortest Street in the World.’ So, naturally, it’s a good spot for a parade, right? Guess so. It turns out ‘The Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the World’ is one of the best, with Elvis impersonators, belly dancers, fireworks and a celebrity Grand Marshal.”
Its list: Boston; Chicago; Savannah; New York; Dublin; Tokyo; Hot Springs; New Orleans; San Francisco; Auckland, New Zealand.
“Every year, our little parade expands positive attention for Hot Springs,” said Steve Arrison, CEO of Visit Hot Springs and one of the founders of the parade. “We are especially proud to see media such as the ‘Today’ show take notice of the family-fun aspect of our event. We could never afford to buy such positive publicity for our city.”