Two Hot Springs residents with long histories of service to their community will reign as the Shamrock Royalty for the First Ever 17th Annual World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 17, 2020, on World Famous 98-foot-long Bridge Street.
Tim Culbreth and Cindy Baswell will be the Shamrock King and Queen for the internationally famous little parade.
Both of them have retirement on their mind, Culbreth from Teen Challenge and Baswell from Simmons Bank.
“It would be hard to find two individuals who have given more of themselves to the Hot Springs community than Tim and Cindy,” said Steve Arrison, CEO of Visit Hot Springs and one of the founders of the famous little parade. “Tim has served as head of Teen Challenge for what seems like forever, and Cindy has been active in loads of activities, including her long service with the Spa Pacers and the annual Spa Running Festival weekend of running activities they sponsor.”
Both have lengthy histories with the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Culbreth doesn’t recall the first year he attended the parade, but thinks he’s been to all of them. He’s organized work crews to help set up for the parade from the beginning and has been a parade participant, riding his bicycle and as a spectator and volunteer.
Culbreth is an avid cyclist who has a tradition of riding one mile for each year of his age each time he has a birthday.
He’s been involved with Teen Challenge since he was a teenager in several different communities as a volunteer, then came to Hot Springs as executive director of Adult & Teen Challenge in 1981. He says his passion is to help people recover from life-controlling problems such as addiction, and to develop a faith that is characterized by compassion, service to others, and love that speaks louder than words.
Culbreth says his favorite part of the parade is the name.
“I’m honored to be part of such a festive, fun celebration that truly captures the spirit of Hot Springs,” he said, “and I’m looking forward to celebrating as King and enjoying this experience with my family.”
“My ‘words of wisdom for my subjects’ are: Be nice. Look both ways before crossing the street. Give bicyclists at least three feet of clearance and don’t hit them with your vehicle (don’t hit pedestrians, either!).”
Baswell said her experience with the parade began in 2007, “when I became a member of the Spa Pacers Running Club. The Spa Pacers ran the parade route before the start of the parade, dressed in our St. Paddy’s attire, and interacted with the spectators by throwing candy to them.”
Baswell said she started a banking career in 1986 and for the last 22 years was with Simmons Bank. She retired October 31 as vice president and compliance specialist.
She said she’s done “a lot” of community service work, serving on the boards of the United Way, Garland County American Cancer Society, Relay for Life Luminary Chairperson and the Spa Pacers Running Club. She received the Woman of the Year Community Service Award in 2014 from the Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce.
“Now, I’m looking forward to enjoying retirement and ‘smelling the roses’ with my family and hobbies, something I haven’t done in a long time.”
“My true love is running,” Baswell said, “which I started 15 years ago that has since got me involved in the Spa Running Festival. I’ve been the Race Director since 2014. The festival has been around for 38 years that includes 5K and 10K races and a Half Marathon, running through the National Park, which was added in 2015. Over the last few years, the race has grown by 25 percent and this past year, we hit a record of over 2,000 race participants touching 25 states and one internationally from France. It’s become a premier event for the Spa Pacers Running Club and the Hot Springs community”
Her favorite part of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade?
“It’s a fun time for the whole community, seeing Central Avenue and Bridge Street lined with so many people, dressed-up in their St. Paddy’s attire is pretty exciting! It attracts, adults, kids, families and it’s free! The concerts are a great addition to the event too! Being a native, I love Hot Springs and I’m always excited when we can showcase our great city to out of town visitors and the St. Patrick’s Parade is just one opportunity that we have to do that.”
“I’m truly honored and very proud to be selected to be the Queen for the 17th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade,” she said. “I know of a lot of ladies that are more deserving than me. This is a fun event with thousands of people coming to our city that day so I’m couldn’t be more excited about representing the Spa City as the Queen.”
Cheech Marin, half of the legendary comedy team Cheech and Chong, will serve as the grand marshal of the First Ever 17th Annual World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade .
Renowned movie star Danny Trejo will serve as the official starter for the 2020 parade, and free public concerts will be held on the evenings of March 16 and March 17 at the parade stage at Bridge Street and Broadway. Blues Traveler will perform March 16 and Foghat will performs March 17 immediately after the parade, which begins at 6:30 p.m.
Fredbird, the official St. Louis Cardinals mascot, will add fun to the 2020 parade.