Celebrating the Irish in Easton
It was billed as the largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in Faribault County. Never mind that it was the only one in the county.
There were a dozen units that went down Easton’s (pop. 217) main street on Monday, March 17, St. Patrick’s Day. It included the fire truck, the grand marshal vehicle, a couple of floats and several family marching units. Oh, and also go karts, the postmaster’s car and even a grain truck.
The three blocks of main street were lined with spectators, and KBEW radio broadcast the parade live.
Then everyone returned to the two bars in town and quaffed a few green beers and enjoyed some Irish stew at the Club.
The Club’s owner, Barbara Dvorak, is the main organizer of the parade. She has owned the bar/restaurant for three years. Previous owners Norm and Sandy Berkland, sponsored the parade for the 14 years that they owned the place.
The Club is the former American Legion Hall in Easton. It is a little more modern than some bars located in older buildings. That, Dvorak says, is because the original Legion Hall burned down some years ago, and a new one was built on the same spot.
“It re-opened, of course, on St. Patrick’s Day that year,” Dvorak said. “Very appropriate.” Now it is called The Club, and this St. Patrick’s Day it was filled with people wearing a lot green and eating and drinking. “Yes, it is a big, big day for us,” Dvorak said. Some of those people included Kenn and Carolyn McKee of Easton, who served as Grand Marshals of the parade.
The McKees had lived in California for 25 years before moving back to Easton in 1996.
In fact, they had been in California for three months this winter, and it was while they were there that they got the call asking them to be the parade grand marshals.
“We felt it was quite an honor so we made sure we got back home in time,” Kenn McKee said. He added that he is sure they were chosen because they are Irish. “But there are quite a few Irish families in the Easton area, “ he added.
Last Monday though, everyone in Easton was Irish, at least for the day.