Southern Agenda

A Big Moment for Leprechauns

An illustration of a leprechaun crossing a start and finish line at the same time

Photo: Tim Bower

March 17 marks the twenty-first running of the World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which means it’s now old enough to drink—although, make no mistake, the green beer has always flowed freely. The route follows Hot Springs’ ninety-eight-foot-long Bridge Street, which has been called the world’s shortest city street in everyday use. The event starts with an official measuring of the thoroughfare and has included such participants as the World’s Largest Potato on Wheels, the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders, and the International Order of Irish Elvi (marching Elvis impersonators). “It’s not your normal parade—it’s not boring,” says Steve Arrison, who helped scheme up the celebration over beers at a nearby German restaurant. The festivities now stretch over two days filled with concerts and celebrity appearances. Local tire shop owner Monte Everhart, who is seventy-three, will again serve as the World’s Largest Leprechaun, an official parade position he has held for sixteen years. “If you can’t have fun at this thing,” Everhart says, “you can’t have fun anywhere.”