HOT SPRINGS NATIONAL PARK, Ark. – Since 2004, Hot Springs has celebrated the Annual World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Bridge Street, the World’s Shortest Street in everyday use.
In 2024 the city celebrates the 21st edition of the parade, but not without competition from Adamsville, Rhode Island, a city that hosts what they call the “World’s Shortest St. Paddy’s Day Parade.”
Not to be denied, Steve Arrison, CEO of Visit Hot Springs and one of the founders of the festival issued a statement refuting Adamsville’s claim.
“First off, you’ll note that the Rhode Island town calls their event a ‘St. Paddy’s Day celebration,” Arrison noted. “I need not explain to them that the Hot Springs parade is the ‘World’s Shortest St. PATRICK’S DAY Parade.’ We don’t celebrate the Irish’s saint’s nickname day — we celebrate the real deal.”
Arrison pointed out that the Natural State has a climate that is much more conducive to enjoying the fun.
“We watched an online video of the Adamsville event, and we must say it is a touching little gathering. However, their event appears to be a stroll down the town’s street by hometown folks bundled up against the harsh Rhode Island climate,” Arrison stated. “The Hot Springs World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade celebrates the perfect Arkansas March weather. They do have a guy riding a lawnmower, but did they ever have TV star Mike Rowe of ‘Dirty Jobs’ fame riding a motorized commode? I say, no.”
Though the parade in Adamsville is a shorter distance than the parade in Hot Springs, Arrison claimed that the parade is willing to shorten its distance however necessary to keep the title.
“I take note of the fact that the Adamsville folks stroll for 89 feet to stake their claim. I’ve pointed out many times in the past that our 98-foot length is flexible,” Arrison stated. “Ninety-eight feet does happen to be the entire length of Bridge Street, the World’s Shortest Street in Everyday Use, according to Ripley’s Believe It or Not. However, we here in Hot Springs have responded to many challengers over the years by pointing out that we are perfectly willing to shorten our parade to whatever length it takes to retain our crown. We have also pointed out that our parade will march in place if necessary to keep the title. Heck, we’ll even march backwards if that’s what it takes.”
The 2024 edition of the parade in Spa City features Dallas Cowboys legend Emmitt Smith as grand marshal, actor Forrie J. Smith as parade starter and live music from Pat Green. Strongman Michael “The Monster” Todd has been named as the parade’s official king and actress/director Joey Lauren Adams has been named the parade’s official queen.
To find out more about the parade and its history, visit ShortestStPats.com.