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City set for its own green party
Times photo: Brian Gray Jeff Conway, left, and Mary Finley are ready to celebrate St. Patricks Day and the annual Pub Crawl event. Theyre inviting people to help celebrate the Irish holiday with stories, food, drinks, music and a parade March 14 and March 17 in Monroe.
MONROE - The Irish have gained ground on Green County's Swiss heritage.

"I'm 100 percent Irish by marriage," St. Patrick's Day Queen Mary Finley laughed. "It's an honor for me. I've been celebrating St. Patrick's Day since I was a wee lass."

She will be the guest of honor this year as Green County celebrates its Irish heritage.

Saint Patrick's Day is more than just a chance for people to wear their green and think about corned beef and cabbage.

The St. Patrick's Day Celtic Pub Crawl once again will bring people out to celebrate the holiday. Activities at the Monroe Public Library and a parade will give more people a chance to be Irish.

Families and children of all ages can come to the library from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 14, to hear Leprechaun stories and make shamrock wreaths, gold necklaces and a special top hat to wear to the St. Patrick's Day Parade.

The annual Pub Crawl begins at 1 p.m. March 14 at Friendly Inn. Participants will be able to visit seven pubs in Monroe: Friendly Inn, Old Smokey, Doyle's Irish Pub, Turner Hall, Baumgartner's, Bob's Pub, and Flanagans Shananigans. Check-in time for the event is 12:15 p.m.

For $25, people can receive a free drink at all the pubs and a free long-sleeve T-shirt.

Jeff Conway, owner of Old Smokey, said more than 180 people took part in the pub crawl last year. He hopes more attend this year.

For people who really want to get into the Irish tradition, custom-made quilts also will be available for $60.

Registration forms for the Pub Crawl are available at any of the seven pubs taking part in the event and Heartland Graphics and are due by March 8.

The highlight of the St. Patrick's Day celebration once again will be the parade, which begins at 5:17 p.m. Tuesday, March 17. Participants will gather at the middle school and will walk around the Square.

Irish and non-Irish alike are invited to gather their clans together to take part, or just enjoy, the parade. The Monroe Public Library also will have a story time at the library from 3 to 4:45 p.m. March 17.

The Irish pub band "Rolling Wave" will perform at Flanagans Shenanigans after the parade.

More information is available by calling Tracy Hamilton at 329-4314 or at