On the eve of St. Patrick’s Day, folks in O’Neill, Neb. the Irish capital of Nebraska, folks are already celebrating.
O’Neill is also home to the world’s largest permanent shamrock.
Thursday night folks are re-painting that massive 65-foot concrete shamrock in the middle of O’Neill’s major intersection.
It’s actually the world’s largest. But this is just one part of the O’Neill Saint Patrick’s Day celebration.
“It’s the luck of the Irish and it’s all going down in Nebraska’s Irish Capitol. Saint Patrick’s Day is one of the biggest holidays of the year here.
“If you have never been to O’Neill, Nebraska for Saint Patty’s Day celebration, please come. It is worth it, there’s fun for all ages and it’s just a great time,” says Ryan Parks, Member of O’Neill’s Irish Walk of Fame.
“It’s really turned into a great family event too so more than just obviously having fun partying at night. There’s just a lot of great activities for kids so it’s just a great family vent to take part of and of course, everyone has go to have green on,” says Scott Posey, Parade Emcee.
The town is decked out in shamrocks, green decorations, and a more recent tradition, the Walk of Fame.
Right now, only six squares are included along the intersection of 4th and Douglas and only those who have gone above and beyond to showcase the Irish pride of O’Neill get a spot on their Walk of Fame. But of course, as the tradition becomes larger every year, more people will be added every Saint Patty’s Day.
Along with a rubber duck hunt that offers monetary prizes, this celebration is also known for the annual tradition of painting the world’s largest shamrock. It’s something many residents here take paramount pride in.
“How can we make St. Patrick’s Day in O’Neill special, and we came up with the idea let’s paint the world’s largest shamrock up here in the intersection,” says All Reynoldson, helps organize St. Patty’s Day celebration
“It’s just something that O’Neill uses as an emblem,” says Ron Smith, who helps organize St. Patty’s Day celebration”
The celebrations will continue into this weekend, the parade on Saturday starts at noon.