A tradition of fun St. Patrick’s Day Celebration turns 40

A crowd of more than 3,500 people jammed the streets of Maple Lake to watch the second annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Above, St. Tim’s school displayed their Irish tradition with a message via sign cards. The words said, “Irish or not, may God Smile on you.”

To the left are Maple Lake’s royal family of Colleens chosen at the second annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration. They are, from left, Mary Jo Paumen, Chris Mavencamp and Carol Beaman. (Photos from Maple Lake Messenger archives)

They say the show must go on, and when you have a good one like the Maple Lake St. Patrick’s Day Celebration, that’s especially true.
Through snowstorms and wind chills, and once an 80-degree heat wave, in 40 years the show has gone on without a single cancellation. Why? Because everyone likes to be Irish for a day.
Harold Brutlag, retired publisher of the Maple Lake Messenger, was part of that first St. Patrick’s Day Celebration in Maple Lake. Up until then, the city had celebrated Snow Daze. It was a smaller affair, Brutlag said, where snowmobile races were enjoyed instead of a parade.

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