St. Patrick's Day's Special in Town of Erin
TOWN OF ERIN - When the rolling hills of Highway K start crossing roads named Dublin, Leprechaun and Shamrock, you know you're somewhere special.
Those roads intersect in the Washington County Town of Erin.
It is a tiny place, barely a blip on the map for 364 days a year. But as the local lore has it, it looks a lot like the home of St. Patrick.
"Erin was founded by Irish emigrants from the potato famine in the 1840s," said Jeff Kraft, owner of the Erin Inn.
"They came to this area because it looks a lot like Ireland."
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This town in the shadow of Holy Hill is overlooked so often, those at the Erin Inn refer to March 17th as "the holy day."
"It makes up for a lot of slow nights," Kraft smiled.
On the eve of the feast of St. Patrick, it was time to prepare.
Prepare for a parade, plus those who will come to watch it and stick around to raise a glass or two after.
Kevin Whelan and Sarah Cull reign as this year's king and queen, and they are watched from the walls by parade royalty past. Photos on the tiny bar's eastern wall date back to the first parade in 1980.
Assuming the role of king is a special honor for Whelan, whose uncle was the first to hold the staff of St. Patrick.
"To have another Whelan be in the parade as a king, it just means so much more to me this year to carry this on, especially in his honor," he said.
Bars in Erin were scheduled to open at 8 a.m., the parade at 11.
Kraft told Newsradio 620 WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Morning News" that some unusual sights could happen Thursday.
"Rumor has it that there's been some green camels spotted in the area," Kraft claims.
There's no confirmation of such a parade attraction as of yet.