The businesses along Riverfront Plaza are trying to make sure Hamilton residents ― and, for that matter, Butler County residents ― stay local for St. Patrick’s Day festivities on Friday morning.
So, in addition to the second annual O’DORA Dash, a 0.1-mile trek down Riverfront Plaza, Ann Marie Cilley and her neighboring business colleagues are launching the inaugural Ohio’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade that will travel the few hundred feet from Municipal Brew Works to Tano’s Bistro.
“I always thought about St. Patrick’s Day as the blooming of the DORA cup,” said Cilley of the Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area program. “Last year, we always wanted St. Patrick’s Day to be something Hamilton really adopted with gusto, so we came up with this idea of a 0.1K. It literally runs along the parking spaces in front of the Riverfront Plaza businesses, and you dash with your DORA cup with the objective of not spilling whatever is your DORA cup.”
To incorporate more potential participants, the DORA cups can also be filled with the official water of the O’DORA Dash, Hamilton’s Pahhni Water, colored green. Now non-drinkers and those under 21 can participate, Cilley said.
“It’s a dash, a fun run,” she said. “It gets people out and doing something on St. Patrick’s Day, it promotes community, it sort of de-emphasizes the whole ‘get drunk’ on St. Patrick’s Day, and it brings people together.”
Erik Loomis, a co-founder of Pahhni Water with Satinder Bharaj, said being involved in the community supports the city and its businesses, and really, “it helps all of us.”
Additionally, Loomis said any responsible drinking includes proper hydration, “so in addition to opening up to more people to participate, we have to drink water every now and then to have a responsible outing.”
The O’DORA Dash is also a fundraiser half of the proceeds, which The Casual Pint owned by Cilley will match, will be donated to the Hamilton Community Foundation. Last year, around $600 was raised through 60 participants.
“I would love to beat that number from last year,” she said. “Mother nature is doing what she does, but we’ll see.”
Registration is open now until 10 a.m. Friday at The Casual Pint. The dash starts at 10:30 a.m., which is at the conclusion of Ohio’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The parade steps off at 10 a.m.
The idea behind the parade is to extend the St. Patrick’s Day festivities, Cilley said, and “give people even more reasons to come out early and do something that’s very uniquely Hamilton. It is something that we can be proud of and call our own, and another reason to keep us up north (of Cincinnati) and give them something to do, especially in Hamilton.”
Vice Mayor Michael Ryan will be the inaugural grand marshal for the parade. He said he’s “truly humbled” to lead this first-ever parade and is “extremely grateful to be part of an event that brings us all together: businesses, residents, and visitors.”
“It is so special to see our businesses collaborate to create an event that not only helps our small businesses but also allows our residents to experience the true meaning of St. Patrick’s Day ― friendship, community, and camaraderie.”
There are about a dozen community groups and nonprofit organizations that will participate in the parade.
O’DORA DASH REGISTRATION
Registration for the second annual O’DORA Dash can be done online at cphamilton.hrpos.heartland.us or by visiting The Casual Pint, 130 Riverfront Plaza, Hamilton.
Registration ends at 10 a.m. Friday. The fun run is expected to begin around 10:30 a.m. Friday.
Registration for drinkers is $10 a person and for non-drinkers, it’s $5 per person.
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