By Suzanne Corbett, Food/Travel Editor
Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas is for the birds. Fredbird that is. Fredbird will join Cheech Marin, half of the legendary comedy team Cheech and Chong, as the grand marshal of the First Ever 17th Annual World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade, March 17, 2020.
This marks Fredbird’s first appearance at the parade, which annually attracts nearly 30,000 people to the city’s historic downtown district, where an ocean of green will once again make a big splash along the 98-foot parade route, the length of Bridge Street. Fredbird and Marin will lead the parade. At this report, it’s unclear if Marin is a Cardinals fan. However, bets are if he isn’t he will be. Especially after Fredbird and Marin lead an eclectic mix of marchers, strutters, dancers, waddlers and floats through the heart of downtown Hot Springs, Arkansas.
“We’re delighted that Fredbird will be firing up the crowd at this year’s parade,” said Steve Arrison, CEO of Visit Hot Springs and one of the founders of Hot Spring’s tiny parade. An event that has brought international attention to Hot Springs for the past 16 years. “It’s really fitting that Fredbird is joining us, since Hot Springs is recognized worldwide as The Birthplace of Major League Baseball Spring Training and because the Cards have been the unofficial ‘home team for Arkansans for generations.”
As beloved member of the Cardinal clubhouse since making his debut on April 6, 1979, Fredbird is expected to rally his Arkansas fans throughout the day. And let’s not forget, there will be lots of head beaking. What every Cardinal fan loves to see, and have happen to them. So, Cheech Marin, be prepared. You can expect to bebecked.
When asked if Hot Springs ever had another bird lead the St. Pat’s Day parade Arrison Said,
“We had the San Diego Chicken one year, but Fredbird is special. Most people don’t think of chickens as birds, and Saint Louis is closer to our hearts than San Diego.”