By Amanda Rogers
The World’s Only St. Paddy’s Pickle Parade & Palooza is set to “Ease on Downtown” for the 12th annual festival March 17-18.
The free festival’s “Ease on Downtown” theme honors historic Mansfield’s 160-year history and the merchants and residents who have kept downtown thriving.
This year’s grand marshals will be Dr. Robert and Ann Smith, accompanied by their daughters Leah and Rachel Smith, and granddaughter Kelly. The Smith family has been an essential and active part of the fabric of downtown for more than four decades.
Dr. Robert Smith came to Mansfield in 1977 to open his optometry practice, but his family’s roots go back to the 1800s. Smith served on the Mansfield ISD Board of Trustees for six years, including a year as president. He has been on the city’s Historic Landmark Commission since its inception more than 25 years ago.
Ann Smith is a lifetime member of the PTA, and has served on the Keep Mansfield Beautiful Commission, the city’s Zoning Board of Adjustments, Mansfield Main Street Project, Discover Historic Mansfield and Downtown Mansfield Inc.
Dr. Robert and Ann Smith have their names on the City’s Wall of Honor.
Their daughters, Leah and Rachel, grew up following in their parents’ footsteps.
The family will lead the St. Paddy’s Pickle Parade, which will take off at noon March 18 and cruise through historic downtown. Also part of the two-day festival will be live concerts from Texas Flood, Mansfield’s own LanceBattalion, Run4Cover, Penny and the Flamethrowers and the Bethlehem Baptist Choir. There’s also a Pet Parade, Baby Parade, Pickle Playground featuring bounce houses, a petting zoo, climbing wall, street hockey and face painting, Beer Keg Races, a cornhole tournament, Pickle 10k, 5k and fun runs, pickle-eating and pickle-juice drinking contests, pie-eating contest, food vendors and retail vendors.
The Pickle Queens reign over the party and wrap up the parade. Admission and parking are free. Get all the details at pickleparade.org.
Mansfield, Texas, is a booming city, nestled between Fort Worth and Dallas, but with a personality all its own. The city’s 76,247 citizens enjoy an award-winning school district, vibrant economy, historic downtown, prize-winning park system and community focus spread across 37 square miles. The Mansfield Record is dedicated to reporting city and school news, community happenings, police and fire news, business, food and restaurants, parks and recreation, library, historical archives and special events. The city’s only online newspaper launched in September 2020 and will offer introductory advertising rates for the first three months at three different rates.