By Carolynn Buser Editorial & Social Director Published Mar 05, 2016 at 3:01 PM

One of my favorite events of the season is coming up next weekend -- and this year it will be bigger and better than ever. The Shamrock Club (in partnership with Westown Association) will kick off its 50th annual St. Patrick's Day Parade at noon on Saturday, March 12, and you should be there.

Here are six reasons why: 

1. 50th anniversary

Milwaukee’s first St. Patrick’s Day parade dates back to 1843, making it the seventh oldest in the nation. Our big Downtown parade predates the incorporation of the State of Wisconsin and the City of Milwaukee. The current iteration celebrates five decades this year.

2. Irish dancers

Milwaukee now boasts six schools of Irish dance: Cashel-Dennehy, Glencastle, Kinsella,
McMenamin, Beglan Academy of Irish Dance, and Trinity, all of which will appear in the parade, plus the O’Dell Irish Dancers from Central Wisconsin. That is a lot of ringlet curls and legs flailing about. 

3. Bagpipers

Slainte! #milwaukee

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My favorite are the bagpipers. How can you not enjoy the heritage and joy emitting from them? 

4. Green beer or Jamo at a local watering hole

Nothing but #irish pride at The Harp. #Milwaukee #stpatricksday

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The bars along the route will have beer ready for you to imbibe, no doubt. You could partake in some, or just be really smart and get a Guinness, Harp or a Jameson cocktail. My favorite spot to take in after is at The Harp. Keep in mind this isn't amateur day – please make me proud, Milwaukee. 

5. Leprechauns

The leprechauns will be out in full force and they don't get much cuter than this. Seriously. 

6. Wolfhounds

Sure, you might think an Irish Setter is prettier, but I love the wolfhounds. Their shaggy hair is just waiting for you to pet it, and they will always be sure to give you a sweet, wet, nose nudge. 

Carolynn Buser Editorial & Social Director
Carolynn Buser is one of Milwaukee's loudest and most adamant cheerleaders (don't dare try to disagree). She's the primary voice behind much of OnMilwaukee.com's social media, and apologizes in advance if she can be too sarcastic at times.

What else? She's a wine lover, closet trashy novel reader, beauty supplies addict and devourer of cheese (shocker for a Wisconsin born and bred girl, right?). She's also a bit of a foodie, which is a word most of you hate, we know. So, you've probably seen her at one of the area's newest restaurant openings (and yes, she will share her opinions good or bad) or enjoying her newfound love, the Dark and Stormy, at a local pub.

All in all, Carolynn's a believer in positive thinking and will do her best to smack down your negative ones while writing about her city, her loves, quests and more.