Saints Patrick and Paul keep their date on the 17th: Saturday parade ditched

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Minnesota's biggest St. Patrick's Day parade is staying on St. Patrick's Day, after all.

Organizers of the annual parade through downtown St. Paul say they've abandoned a plan favored by City Hall that would have moved the festivities to the Saturday closest to March 17th.

Instead, the St. Patrick's Association of St. Paul has decided to stick with the real St. Patrick's Day, which puts this year's parade on a Tuesday.

A number of bar owners in the city lined up behind the Saturday plan when Mayor Chris Coleman pushed it last year, with some anticipating crowds on both parade day and St. Patrick's Day.

But the issue proved to be contentious, with an online petition drive opposing the move approaching 1,000 signatures.

The Pioneer Press reports some groups that traditionally march in St. Paul's parade had threatened to defect to Minneapolis if the capital city moved its event away from the 17th.

Since those groups pay to march in the parade, that prospect could have hit parade organizers in the bottom line.

The tourism group Visit St. Paul is still promoting weekend festivities, though, with its website describing a celebration from March 15-17.

One of the biggest Minnesota celebrations outside of the Twin Cities is in the Brainerd Lakes area and it goes with a Saturday parade.

Crosslake will hold its 41st annual St. Patrick's Day parade on March 14th.

If you're curious to know what St. Paul's parade is like, check out the whole 20-minute long 2011 version below.

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