St. Patrick's Day parade returning to Rhinelander in 2013Submitted: 03/04/2013

Lane Kimble
Managing Editor/Anchor

RHINELANDER - Businesses, kids, parents and partygoers. All of them find themselves hoping for great weather in just under two weeks.

Last year, about 30 floats paraded down Brown Street while thousands of people enjoyed the festivities in 77 degree weather.

David O'Melia and Jim Winkler will bring that parade back in two weekends.

They think last year's success can be a good starting point.

"We were very surprised," O'Melia said. In fact, the chief of police estimated up to 2000 people watching the parade in March for the first annual. I hope we can get near that."

About 35 floats are signed up for this year's parade so far. That compares to 30 last year. Organizers expect to get even more.

Winkler says that would be good news for businesses in town.

"They had way more business than they normally do on a Saturday afternoon simply because we got people downtown," Winkler.

"That's part of the whole thing here is to get people into town and then have them hang out for a couple hours and visit the shops and bars and eating establishments and become part of the St. Patrick's festivities."

The organizers will accept float applicants right up until St. Patrick's Day.

You can contact Jim by calling his shop at 715-369-3030.

The Pub Crawl will feature the same pubs as last year and will have extended hours. It will run Saturday from noon to bar close and Sunday from noon to 3 p.m. There will be a drawing Sunday afternoon.

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MINOCQUA - By the time most of us finish breakfast, we already start planning what to eat for lunch.

For some kids all around the world, that next meal sometimes never comes.

The Food for Kidz Minocqua committee will lend a helping hand to change that Saturday morning.

Lakeland Union High School's common area will transform into a full-blown assembly line.

Food for Kidz volunteers will pour and pack ingredients into plastic bags.

The goal is 175,000 packed meals.

Food for Kidz needs more volunteers by tomorrow to meet that goal.

"If you haven't experienced this, come out and try it and you'll go away with just a great feeling," said Food for Kidz co-chair John Breiten.

Kids and adults of all ages are welcome to walk in to volunteer.

The food packages will be shipped off to anywhere from Honduras to Mozambique.

Some special meals will be set aside and sent to local communities in the Northwoods.

"It's just a great, fun community event. I think the kids especially take something away that they are giving beyond themselves," said Food for Kidz sponsor and Lakeland Union High School Spanish teacher Karen Roerich.

Walk-in volunteers are welcome to attend either packing shift tomorrow morning.

The first shift is from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. The second shift is from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

If you can't make it out to Lakeland Union High School Saturday, donations are always welcome.

Call John Breiten at 715-686-7570 for more info.

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