Annual parade to remain on St. Patrick's Day

This year's St. Patrick's Day downtown parade, one of St. Paul's most popular events, will remain on March 17 despite talk last year about moving it to the weekend.

City officials last year threatened to block future parade applications for any day other than Saturday. They said a Saturday parade would draw bigger crowds, cause fewer business disruptions and not force parents to take their kids out of school.

But the city has approved a March 17 permit for the parade's longtime sponsor, the St. Patrick's Association, according to Jeff Schmidt, the association's vice president. An online petition to keep the parade on March 17 drew nearly 1,000 signatures, he said.

"We didn't start the petition, which speaks volumes. It's an important day," Schmidt said.

The association, which organizes and funds the parade, maintains that holding it on any day but March 17 (save for when the day falls on Sunday or during Holy Week) would diminish its meaning. The Irish missionary and bishop died on that date in the year 461.



Public input requested for Pilot Knob Road project

An informational open house for the Pilot Knob Road Improvements Project, slated to begin in May 2016, will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. March 5 at the Eagan Community Center.

The project includes the reconstruction of Pilot Knob Road from Yankee Doodle Road to Central Parkway and modifications to Pilot Knob Road from the Interstate 35E ramp to Yankee Doodle Road. A southbound lane, additional turn lanes and trail reconstruction are anticipated to increase capacity and safety, reduce traffic delays at the Pilot Knob/Yankee Doodle intersection and enhance cyclist opportunities.

Project staff members will be available to answer questions and seek feedback from the public. For information, visit and search County Road 31 project.



Meeting will weigh light-rail stations

Planners of a proposed light-rail line serving the northern suburbs want input on whether it should stop in north Minneapolis and Golden Valley.

A public meeting Thursday will focus on whether the 13-mile Blue Line extension should include stops at Plymouth Avenue, Golden Valley Road or both. The Plymouth Avenue stop in Theodore Wirth Park is technically steps beyond the Minneapolis border in Golden Valley.

Laura Baenen, a spokeswoman for the project, said the Metropolitan Council is opening to building one or both stations, "depending on engineering factors, environmental factors, cost and community support."

The Plymouth Avenue station is under discussion because Minneapolis did not request it until after the project's draft environmental-impact statement was nearly complete. The project office and local leaders will make a formal recommendation this spring on building the stations.

The current route follows Hwy. 55 to Theodore Wirth Park, where it would travel north along the park's edge. The Plymouth Avenue stop is very close to the Theodore Wirth golf course and chalet, a popular recreation center.

The public meeting will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Church of St. Margaret Mary Visitation Hall, 2323 Zenith Av. N., Golden Valley.

Eric Roper


Arboretum exhibit to spotlight sculptures

The Society of Minnesota Sculptors will present its annual exhibition from March 1 to April 12 at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.

The exhibition, in the Oswald Visitor Center's Great Hall, will feature more than 50 sculptures ranging in size from tabletop pieces to large, free-standing creations in a range of media from bronze to welded steel to wood and ceramic. A variety of artistic styles — from contemporary to traditional, representational to abstract — will be featured.

The exhibition is free with arboretum gate admission.