By Joe Hadsall
Globe Features Editor
JOPLIN, Mo. —
The grand marshal of Saturday's St. Patrick's Day parade is a longtime Joplin resident: Patrick Murphy.
His likeness will be re-created by members of DreamSpiral Productions.
"We wanted to incorporate more Irish traditions, and Patrick Murphy is a perfect fit," said Matt Osborn, of Way Beyond Events. Murphy is one of the city's founders, and the historic Murphysburg neighborhood still bears his name.
Way Beyond Events has teamed up with Historic Murphysburg Preservation for St. Patrick's Day events, which will be held from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. along Joplin Avenue.
The group will host a parade at 10 a.m. that celebrates the life and achievements of Joplin's most famous Irishman. The parade will march along Main Street from 15th to Third.
The main attraction is a festival in the 500 block of Joplin, across from the Irish-themed Blackthorn Pizza and Pub, which is sponsoring an outdoor beer garden. The festival includes arts and crafts, children's activities, carnival games and inflatables.
Organizers moved the festival from Main Street to Joplin Avenue for more space, Osborn said.
"It's both for the safety and the event fits better," Osborn said. "We actually have more space there than on three blocks of Main Street. And with Blackthorn aboard, we know we'll have people walking back and forth."
Participants are also invited to tour the nearby Murphysburg district during the festival either on foot or by car.
Live music begins at 5 p.m. Josh Jennings Band, Rampaging Sons of a Widow James, Make Rocket Go and The Dirty Mugs will perform. The stage will be adjacent to, but separate from, the beer garden so all ages can attend. Children's features end at 6 p.m.
Before the parade, a 5k run will be held at 9 a.m.