Going green again:

Fort Dodge, Emmetsburg and Algona celebrate St. Patrick over next week

-Messenger file photo by Hans Madsen
Braeden Bennett, of Emmetsburg, showed off the latest in green bottle goggles and hats while riding with the Palo Alto Relay for Life float in the 2014 St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Irish Iowan traditions, plus some new activities, start today and then begin again next Friday in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day.

Emmetsburg’s Jr. Miss and Miss Shamrock pageant begins today at 3 p.m. until 7 p.m., featuring the talent of young women from age 5 to 16 from throughout the region.

The festivities really get going next week, with a talent show on Thursday, a fish fry on Friday and the 58th annual parade on Saturday as Emmetsburg shows off its heritage.

The day before St. Paddy’s, in Fort Dodge an Irish House Party will be held Friday from 7 to 11 p.m. at the and Fort Museum and Frontier Village’s Opera House.

And in Algona, the annual parade will begin at 4 p.m., starting at the Algona Marine parking lot, with the celebration following at The Locker Room. Grand Marshals are Joe Straub IV and Betty Straub, in honor of their father, Joe Straub III.

-Messenger file photo by Joe Sutter
Aidan Koob rides through the Algona St. Patrick’s Day parade as St. Patrick himself. A grandson of one of the parade founders, Koob created the costume for a school project.

Straub III passed away December 2017, said Maureen Krahenbuhl (formerly Maureen McCall), one of the event organizers, and the family hopes to have a big celebration that would make him proud.

“It’s going to be a big one,” Krahenbuhl said. “Joe the Third came from a family of 14 kids, and a lot of them are coming back for this. Joe always wanted a big crowd. He’s going to get it this year.”

Krahenbuhl’s brother Dan McCall will provide the Irish stew like every year, she said, and Joe Straub III always used to make the corned beef and cabbage. That will be provided by his family this year.

This is the 36th year the McCall family has helped run this event, Krahenbuhl said. It’s a marching parade — no politicians or floats, just marchers.

“Usually everybody brings some food,” she said. “It’s a family event; everyone’s welcome, all ages. You don’t have to be Irish.”

-Messenger file photo by Hans Madsen
Phil Brown, of Emmetsburg, demonstrates what can be done with food coloring while watching the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in downtown Emmetsburg. Brown dyed his arms and legs green as well.


Today’s pageant will be bigger than usual, said Stephanie Mehan, St. Patrick’s Day Association board president.

“We’re technically considered full. We like to have at least five of the Miss Shamrock contestants, which is juniors and seniors,” Mehan said, “and we have five of them this year. Our younger age divisions are full with six in each age group, which the max we like to have.”

The parade should be a big one this year too.

“We’re looking at having more entries this year than we have in the past, just based on what has been turned in, and we still have people who show up the day of,” she said.

After the parade, all ages can attend the Gathering of the Clans at the fire station, where there will be corned beef, adult beverages and soda.

“At 6 everyone moves up to the St. Pats heated tent, where we have an auction,” Mehan said. “We auction off the woodcarvings that are carved at the fire station, and then we have a dance.”

Fort Dodge

The Opera House is hosting more events than before, and organizers just thought a pre-St. Pats dance would be something fun, said Fort Museum Executive Director Cheryl Sherry.

“A lot of people in town like to dance, swing dancing, jitterbug … We thought it would be fun to invite those groups,” Sherry said. “We also have some fun Irish games people can play.”

The event is $10 per person, ages 21 and over. Music is provided by KT productions.

“It will be a fun night to come out, dance, get your Irish on,” Sherry said.

The Irish House Party

7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday

The Frontier Opera House, 1 Museum Road

Dancing by KT Productions; $2 draft beer; 50/50 Irish Drawing; Irish fun and games; Snacks available

$10 per person at the door. Must be 21 and over

Algona St. Patrick’s Day parade

4 p.m. Saturday, beginning at the east parking lot of Algona Marine.

Following the parade a gathering & potluck will be held at The Locker Room Bar & Grill.

All ages welcome. A freewill donation at the gathering will help pay for expenses

Emmetsburg Schedule of Events


3 p.m. to 7 p.m. — Jr. Miss & Miss Shamrock Pageants

Location: Emmetsburg Community School Auditorium

Admission: $5.00 per person


3 p.m. to 5 p.m. — St. Pat’s Headquarters Open House

Irish Coffee and Cookies – Public invited

4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. — Irish Baked Potato Bar

Location: Multipurpose Senior Center

$6 per plate, Sponsored by Multi-purpose Senior Center

7 p.m. — EHS Talent Show

Location: Emmetsburg Community School Auditorium

Emmetsburg High School will present its Talent Show.


9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. — Chamber Coffee

Location: St. Pat’s Headquarters

Come join us for coffee and a roll.

5 p.m. to 7 p.m. — Fish Fry

Location: VFW Hall

5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.–St. Pat’s Bean Bag Tournament

Location: St. Pat’s Heated Tent at 10th & Broadway.

Sign up to play or come cheer on the teams competing in the Annual Bean Bag Tourney. Download form to sign up. Warm-up 5:30 / Tournament begins 6:30 p.m.


8:30 a.m. — O’round The Loch Scholarship Run

Location: Smith Wellness Center

Sponsored by Iowa Lakes Community College. Contact Wellness Center for details 712-852-5311

9 a.m. to 1 p.m.– St. Pat’s Chili Cook-Off Contest

Location: St. Pat’s Heated Tent at 10th Street and Broadway.

Download form to sign up.

9 a.m. to noon –St. Pat’s Kid Zone

Location: Corrigan Hall

Freewill offering. Activities for kids including: Face Painting, Crafts, Donut Hole Eating Contest, Photo Booth (Props will be provided, please bring your own camera.), Pedal Tractor Pull. Sponsored by: Farm Credit Services of America.

9 a.m. to noon –Caricatures by Lauren Naig

Location: Corrigan Hall

9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. — Langered Frolf Tournament

Location: Harrison Park

Frisbee Golf — Disc Golf or LANGERED FROLF as we like to call it. There will be a rules meeting at 9:15 and a shotgun start at 9:30.

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. — Palo Alto County History/Celtic Cousins Family History

Location: Multipurpose Senior Center

Come enjoy a cup of Irish coffee and read through our history. Bring yours if you would like to share.

10:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. — Irish Stew

Location: Multipurpose Senior Center

Freewill offering. Sponsored by the Palo Alto County Democratic Party.

11 a.m. — Chainsaw Artist- Jeff Klatt

Location: Emmetsburg Fire Department Front Lawn

Jeff Klatt has been showing off his Irish creations for the past several years, and he can be found on the firehouse lawn. Two carvings will be auctioned at the Event Tent at 6 p.m.

11 a.m. to 1 p.m.–Chili Cook-Off Public Tasting

Location: St. Pat’s Heated Tent at 10th Street and Broadway

If you’re not cooking, you might as well be tasting and listening to live music. Russ Lachney will be performing until the parade starts in the tent. Join us in the St. Pat’s Tent from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to get your commemorative mug and sample the chili creations. Two categories of winners – Judged and Public – $5 while supply lasts.

11 a.m. to 1 p.m. — Potato-Bar-A-Palooza

Location: United Methodist Church

Freewill Donation.

1:30 p.m. — Famous St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Location: Broadway

The parade will begin on Broadway and 16th Street and move North until Broadway and 8th Street.

3 p.m. — Social Gathering Of The Clans

Location: Emmetsburg Fire Station

Food and beverages in an atmosphere for all ages.

3:30 p.m. Free Movie “A Dog’s Purpose”

Location: Riviera Theatre

6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. — Scott Larson & Keifer Brandt Band

Location: St. Pat’s Heated Tent at 10th Street and Broadway


8 a.m. to noon –Rotary Pancake Breakfast

Location: VFW

$6 advanced tickets/$7 at the door.

Noon to 3 p.m.–Trap Shoot

Location: Sportsman’s Park

Contact Don Bruch, 712-852-3240.


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