TSU goes green for St. Patty’s celebration

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 16, 2000

News Editor

Jan. 15, 2001 10 PM

March in Troy will be unlike any other March residents have ever seen, and it looks like everything will be coming up green.

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Troy State University has something big planned for St. Patrick’s Day and the week leading up to it.

"We’re planning a huge celebration for St. Patrick’s Day and we want to include the entire community in it," said Jean Laliberte, director of Advancement for Troy State University.

Laliberte said the idea came from a celebration held annually at Auburn University at Montgomery. At AUM, she said, they have a Mardi Gras celebration each year during the spring.

"We didn’t want to copy AUM," she said. "We wanted to be original so we chose St. Patrick’s Day because just about everyone has a few Irish roots."

Although the planning is not complete a lot has been slated for the week prior to St. Patrick’s Day.

The week will with an Irish Bagpipe Band Concert on the quad. This same band will end the week playing for President-Elect George W. Bush in Washington, D.C. Lectures in Irish history and art will be held as well as a silent auction, a Pot-of-Gold search and an Irish Cooking Contest.

‘We’re planning for more lectures now," Laliberte said. "We’re looking forward to the cooking contest. The contest will be held at 11 a.m. on March 14. Some of the categories will be appetizers and beverages, desserts, breads, entrees, and salads and vegetables."

But what would a St. Patrick’s Day Celebration Week in Troy be without a beauty pageant? The Miss Shamrock Pageant will be held on March 13 at the Claudia Crosby Theatre. Contestants for the Miss Shamrock Pageant will be Troy State students, and there will be a fee to enter. However, the pageant is open to the public, and the admission charge will be a donation.

"Proceeds from the pageant will benefit the Pike County United Way," Laliberte said. "This is one way we are involving the community in the St. Patrick’s Day Celebration Week."

During the Miss Shamrock Pageant entertainment will be provided by contestants in the Mr. Leprechaun Contest. Laliberte said they expect good, quality entertainment that will be fit for people of all ages.

During the celebration week the TSU Student Government Association will sponsor at talent show. The talent show is open to the public and the admission fee is a donation of 10 cents or more. Proceeds from the talent show will benefit the March of Dimes.

School-aged children in Pike County will also be involved in the weeklong celebration. Laliberte said memos would be sent to area schools inviting classes through the fifth grade to participate in the "SS Leprechaun Launch." The SS Leprechaun Launch is a boat race that will be held at the TSU lagoon. Participating classes will build cardboard boats that will be launched in the lagoon at 4 p.m. on March 16.

"It will be fun for the school children to get involved,"

Laliberte said. "The boats will be made of cardboard and the one that stays afloat the longest will be the winner."

The week will be full of Irish events, and the campus will even begin to look Irish itself when the fountain in front of Sartain Hall turns green. Laliberte said there is even a possibility that the outdoor pool will be turned green.

They week’s celebration will end on St. Patrick’s Day, but is won’t be any ordinary ending.

One of the culminating events of the weeklong celebration is the St. Patty’s Day Parade.

"We’re expecting the parade to be rally big,’ Laliberte said. ‘We hope it is as big or bigger than the TSU Homecoming Appreciation Day Parade. We want the community and businesses in the community to get involved. We know the Merry Hearts Clowns from the Colley Senior Complex will be in the parade as well as a number of professional floats."

The St. Patty’s Day Parade will be an added attraction for the Friends, Family and Alumni Reunion 2001 Weekend, which is also the weekend of St. Patrick’s Day. Registration for the weekend begins at 5 p.m. March 16.

After the parade the festivities continue at Tailgate Terrace.

‘There will a lot of special events and activities," Laliberte said. "The different schools at TSU and alumni chapters will have tents set up for visitors on the campus."

Laliberte said there would also be a parents’ tent, a children’s area and a Punt, Pass and Kick Contest in the tailgate area.

"The weekend will be a lot of fun," She said. "We are planning to have a Moon Walk and face painting for the children. The Punt, Pass and Kick contest will be fun competition. Information is forthcoming to all Pike County Schools. It will be a lot of fun for the entire community."

But there is more.

Greek Week activities will also kick off on St. Patrick’s Day. Activities will start with a preliminary tug-of-war contest and will continue throughout the next week.

But there is still more.

The Troy State University Trojans will hold their "T-Day Game" on St. Patrick’s Day at Richard M. Scrushy Field at Memorial Stadium. After watching the first half of the game the Greek Week tug-of-war finals will be held as well as a performance by the Sound of the South Marching Band.

Following the "T-Day Game" a cocktail reception and a Reunion Dinner and Awards Celebration will be held.

"The entire week will be a lot of fun," Laliberte said. "We want people to get involved with the events held during St. Patrick’s Day Week at TSU. We are extended the invitation to everyone in the community and beyond."

More information about the TSU St. Patrick’s Day celebration week will be released as events are planned.