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Chamber gearing up for St. Paddy’s on the River

WEST POINT — This Saturday will see the inaugural St. Paddy’s on the River event presented by the Greater Valley Are Chamber of Commerce.

The event will feature several attractions for kids, crafts and carnival foods for adults before ending with a pair of concerts.

Chamber executive director Ashley Crane said the idea to hold the event came after the closing of the Irish Bread Pub in downtown West Point last year. The restaurant held an annual street event for St. Patrick’s Day but that stopped after they closed.

She added that the City of West Point and the Chamber of Commerce talked and the city wanted an event.

“We decided to carry on the tradition,” Crane said. “It’s a staple of the area but instead of trying to recreate it we wanted to do something new and redesigned.”

The main thing they wanted to do was make it a more family friendly community event.

“The old version was really catered to those 21 and older,” Crane noted.

In an effort to make the event family friendly, kids events were included.

“While the kids are playing, Mom and Dad can be shopping,” Crane said.

Included events inflatables, face painting, games, etc. Crane noted that chamber marketing and events manager Carrie Royster was adamant to including a Touch-A-Truck event. On hand
will be about a dozen different vehicles provided by first responders and city workers for kids to have fun around, including a helicopter, boat and hearse.

For adults, there are arts and craft vendors, carnival foods and food provided by local restaurants.

The most St. Patrick’s Day thing for the entire event is the inclusion of beer that will be sold in green bottles.

“Coach’s Bar & Grill has partnered with LaGrange Grocery Company to provide the beer,” Crane said, noting the initial plan was to actually have green colored beer available but logistically it made more sense to have them in green bottles instead.

The entire day will also be filled with music.

DJ Smooth B and Chad Morgan will be providing background music from 2-6 p.m.

Opelika-Auburn native Blane Rudd will perform starting at 6 p.m. followed by Roanoke native Tim Dugger.

St. Paddy’s on the River will be held rain or shine from West Point River Park starting at 2 p.m. All day wrist bands for entrance into the event will be $10 cash and free for anyone age 2 and under.

Crane added that cash is preferred for all transactions but card purchases will be available at the vendor’s discretion. She also noted anyone that wants to stay for the concerts to bring their own blankets and chairs.

“We want the community to come and support us,” she said. “We want to carry on the tradition and hope there is enough interest and enough people there so we can grow it next year. Thanks to all our sponsors, vendors and partnerships. We couldn’t have done it without them.”

For more information, contact the Greater Valley Area Chamber of Commerce at 334-642-1411.