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Corktown Kicks Off Weeklong Celebration with St. Patrick's Day Parade

It doesn't matter where you're from, on March 10 everyone in Detroit got to be Irish for a day. Historic Corktown showed off its predominately Gaelic roots and turned green as more than 65,000 people came to watch the largest ethnic parade in the state on US-12 (Michigan Avenue).

The parade is the beginning of a weeklong celebration leading up to St. Patrick's Day. But why would the community want to start celebrating St. Patrick's Day a week early? The answer to that is simple: why not?! The parade draws a large crowd every year, which in turn spurs business in Corktown. The community has a weeklong party and businesses get to reap the benefits, making everyone happy.

The parade is hosted each year by the United Irish Societies, a coalition of Irish heritage groups that include the Gaelic League and Irish-American Club of Detroit. Corktown received its name from the large population of Irish immigrants who arrived from County Cork in Ireland, and still maintains a few original immigrant families in the neighborhood.

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Metro Region wants to make sure you not only enjoy yourself during the festivities but remain safe as well. If you're joining in on the fun this year, make sure to have a designated driver (DD) ready to pick you up after the party ends. Here are some great Metro Detroit DD services to try out:

Call4myride.com: 586-698-2301
A designated driver hotline servicing Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.

Yoursafewayhome.com: 586-563-7144
A DD hotline servicing Metro Detroit that has licensed chauffeurs who can drive you, and your vehicle, home safely.

Detroit Designated Drivers or @detroitddrivers: 248-880-9740 (Metro Detroit hotline)
Pricing: 5 miles: $25; 10 miles: $40, then $2 each mile after that.
Featuring $20 ride-only service out of downtown Detroit to Livonia or Redford.

Check out Terrence Patrick Sullivan's blog on the parade and great pubs to visit while celebrating: www.corktownconnection.org/182-st-patrick-s-day-in-detroit.

Let us know what you think!

Rob Morosi
MDOT Metro Region Communications Representative