Rain or shine, Ireland ready for celebration


IRELAND — Come rain or shine, the annual St. Patrick’s Celebration will be held in Ireland this weekend.

“It’s still happening,” said co-organizer Janet Schitter.

Although rainy weather is predicted for Saturday, Schitter is hoping that it’s hit or miss — more miss that hit.

“It will be intermittent,” Schitter said. “There will be times that it will rain and times it will stop. So we are going on.”

There are two new events this year.

The restored Texaco station will be the site of the “Cars and Coffee” car show, which is set to start at 8 a.m. Saturday.

“It’s just a social gathering of like-minded people,” organizer Bret Voelkel said. “It’s an excuse for people who have hot rods to get them out of the garage and drive them to Ireland and socialize with other hot rodders that have done the same.”

Participants and visitors will be able to check out the hot rods while having coffee and doughnuts. “And there will be several food consessions that will be selling breakfast in town,” Voelkel said. “There will be plenty of opportunity for food and entertainment.”

No one has to register to show off their ride. “All you have to do is show up,” Voelkel said. “There’s no registration fee. There’s no trophies. Just come and have fun.”

This kind of event is common across the country, Voelkel said. “We just adapted it for our location,” he said.

The other new event is called “Climb a CAT,” scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Lechner Excavating.

“It’s like a touch a truck, except we will have excavator equipment,” said Aaron Altstadt, marketing manager for LAN Construction/Lechner Excavating. “We plan to have five pieces of equipment for people to see up close.”

The event is free to the public. There will also be a ribbon-cutting for LAN Construction; the company has purchased Lechner Excavating.

A food truck will be on hand with food for purchase; the proceeds from that will go to 4-H programs, Altstadt said.

The times for Friday night’s dodgeball tourney at Ireland Elementary School’s gym have been changed for this year. Elementary and middle school teams check in between 4:45 and 4:15 p.m., with the games starting at 5:30 p.m. High schoolers and adults check in between 6:45 and 7:15 p.m.; those games start around 7:30 p.m. There must be a minimum of two women and two men on each team. Admission to watch the games is $1 per person; preschoolers and those who are younger can watch for free.

And headlining the annual “Laugh Your Shamrocks Off” comedy show is comedian Mike Armstrong. He has been featured on HBO, Netflix and the Bob and Tom radio show. He will perform at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at St. Mary’s community center. Tickets for the show are $25 and can be purchased by contacting Barb Kendall at 812-630-2204, Kay Hall at 812-630-4259, or Schitter at 812-482-3500 or 812-630-4861.

St. Patrick’s Celebration schedule


5:30 p.m. Dodgeball tournament at Ireland Elementary gym.


8 a.m. Irish Trot starts at Ireland Elementary; St. Patty’s breakfast at the Ireland Knights of Columbus; craft and vendor at Ireland Elementary; Cars and Coffee at the Texaco Station; chicken and dumplings at the Chicken Place’s lot.

9 a.m. O’Blarney kids games at Ireland Fire Station; St. Patty’s Bake-off at St. Mary Church Community Center.

10 a.m. Ireland Historical Society open house.

10:30 a.m. Climb a CAT at Lechner Excavating.

Noon Irish O’Ducky at the Ireland Knights of Columbus.

12:30 p.m. Irish Road Rally lineup Leed Selling Tools’ parking lot, vehicles depart at 1:30 p.m.

1 p.m. Spud launch at Ireland Elementary’s south side and Rudolph. Hohler farm.

4:30 p.m. Irish Mass at St. Mary Church.

5:30 p.m. Laugh Your Shamrocks Off at St. Mary Church Community Center.


9 a.m. Barbecue chicken and pork chop dinners sold at the Ireland Knights of Columbus.

10 a.m. Irish Mass at St. Mary Church.

10:30 a.m. Irish Heritage Service at Grace and Truth Church.

1 p.m. Parade

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