People are just cool here.

Behind the scenes at St. Pat's Headquarters

St. Pat's Association Board members: Jason Bauer, Dave Van Oosbree, Nick Fank, Shawn Borning, Stacey Nachreiner, Denise Riemer, Luke Nelson, Corey Hagen, Steph and Brent Mehan. {Not pictured: Chris Kliegl and Corinda Walker}


"Let's all put on our dancing shoes and wear our shamrocks green, and toast our friends both here and there and everywhere between!"


St. Patrick's Day.


It's not just green tinted Miller Lite keg beer. I mean, it's that too of course. But in Emmetsburg, it's more than that. It's tradition and family and culture. A seemless blending of Irish heritage and modern shenanigans. A historic statue of Robert Emmet in the courthouse square, one of only three in the world. A cold round of Frolf (frisbee golf) at Harrison Park. Yeah, we know, the "pros" call it disc golf, but its our St. Pat's  Celebration and Luke Nelson calls it Frolf.


I spent most of my life showing up at the St. Pat's Parade and thinking, "Woo-hoo! St. Pat's just happened!"


Turns out it takes more than Leprechaun magic to make our annual celebration. Hundreds of volunteers and $15,000- $20,000 in expenses and hours of work from this crew, The St. Pat's Association Board. 


Brook and I had a blast meeting with the board members and talking about the event's past, it's future and everything in between.


{Fun Fact: each finger of the Irish Drinking Gloves are cut by hand!}


Kelly: "Who has been on the board the longest and what are the biggest changes you have seen?"


Dave Van Oosbree: "That would be me. Our retail store is much more extensive. When I first started it was just a few items behind a counter that we brought up from a consignment shop in Dubuque for the weekend and returned afterwards. Now it's a huge part of the fundraising efforts to put the event on each year. The other big difference is the age of our board, more and more young people are getting involved."


Kelly: "Speaking of that, I find it hilarious that Stacy and Shawn just moved to Emmetsburg last summer and already got put on the board. Baptism by fire. Guys, can you tell me what strikes you most about this event as new citizens"


Shawn Borning: "I think we're most impressed with how involved everyone is. We've been in groups previously where not everyone participated and so not much got done. That's definitely not the case here."


KB: "What are some of the best things about the St. Pat's Celebration?"


Jason Bauer: "So many new best friends are made, random people end up in random places and someone always ends up lost in the country and usually missing clothing." 

{Side Note: Emmetsburg Police Dept, thank you in advance!}


Chris Kliegl: "I love the Gathering of the Clans. It's grown so much in the past 10 years and become such a fun place to catch up with family and friends after the parade."



Luke Nelson: Frolf!


What's your biggest challenge for the future?


Brent Mehan: Finding the funding to keep up St. Pat's Headquarters. We own the building now and it's a lot more expensive than renting. In the future, we hope to renovate the back of the building to display historic pictures and gallery items. Getting back into the grant circuits through the Palo Alto County Gaming Development Corporation will help, funds earned from the heated tent downtown and The Gathering of the Clans helps a lot too. As well as continued contributions from our business and individual sponsorships."



Scroll down to view more photos of the evening and for a full schedule of the St. Patrick's Day activities, visit



Cheers friends, and if you get the chance this weekend be sure to take a moment to thank one of the many volunteers who make this celebration possible!


Love, Kelly and Brook





These guys have no fun.


Seriously, none AT ALL.


I'm not even sure they like each other.


Finally. Some work gets done.


Under the watchful eye of Robert Emmet...



FYI: This excuse has been know to stand up in the Palo Alto Co Courthouse. Or so legend says. Or it's worth a try anyway.



Love. Shamrocks. Emmetsburg.




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