Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day Party Recap

Last weekend was the first-ever Halfway to St. Patrick's Day street festival, brought to you by the Lawrence St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee.

If you're not familiar with Lawrence's St. Patrick's Day Parade, you might not know that the big parade on March 17 is only one event that surrounds this holiday. The committee starts meeting every year in the fall to plan a whole bunch of different events that raise funds for children's charities.

Currently, the committee is accepting applications for the 2012 beneficiaries. If you know of a non-profit agency in the Lawrence or Douglas County area that works with young people, please encourage them to apply! Applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Oct. 3. More information, including the application, is available here.

Now, back to the party last weekend.

We were happy to help out with the street festival by securing the necessary permits from the city as well as providing the drinks. We set up a bar outside, our block was closed to traffic and a stage was set up at 8th and New Hampshire. Three bands performed: Radio Flyers, Ashley Davis and Imminent Domain. The committee requested a $5 donation for a wristband in order to drink outside.

Unfortunately, the weather wasn't very cooperative. Saturday was gray and rainy and cool, and it certainly kept some people away. For those of us who sweated buckets during our own block party last month, though, the cool weather was a welcome relief!

Lots of loyal Sandbar friends and St. Patrick's Day fans came out for the party, and bagpipers from Kansas City even stopped by to entertain us. We also loved the bands; we'll keep them on our list for potential bands for our next birthday block party.

Tomorrow, we'll tell you about a surprise guest who made an appearance at the party!

Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day

Everybody knows St. Patrick's Day is our favorite holiday. Did you know this Saturday is the halfway point to the next extravaganza?

The Lawrence St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee is kicking off the 25th annual parade season with a Halfway to St. Patrick's celebration on Sept. 17 from 5 p.m. to midnight. The street in front of the Sandbar will be the site of a street festival that features Irish music from Flannigan's Right Hook and Ashley Davis. The rock band Eminent Domain will close out the party.

EDIT: Flannigan's Right Hook has canceled their appearance. They'll be replaced by the Radio Flyers, followed by Ashley Davis and Eminent Domain. There will also be some members of the KC pipe and drum corps performing on the bagpipes.

The suggested donation is $5 per person. Alcohol will be available for sale outside; if you want to drink, you must be 21 and purchase a wristband. All money from donations and wristband sales will go towards the St. Patrick's Day committee's fundraising efforts. Since 1988, the parade and its activities have raised more than $645,000 for charities that benefit local youth. Area organizations can apply to be this year's beneficiary until Oct. 3. Visit www.lawrencestpatricksdayparade.com for more information.

Come out and see us on Saturday! The bar will be open as usual at 1 p.m. and our staff will be serving drinks outside in the evening starting around 5.



Sandbar and the Dear Lawrence Photo Project

The Lawrence Journal-World recently featured a cool photo project they called "Dear Lawrence," based on the Dear Photograph site. The objective is to take a picture of a picture from the past in the present. Confused? So were we, until we saw examples.

We searched through our photo archives, which are pretty limited prior to around 2003 when we started using digital cameras, and we finally found a couple of pictures of our building from the 90's. They aren't very old pictures, but our building looked significantly different back then- many of you may only know us as the lime green building with a giant tiki head, but it wasn't always that way.

Here's our first submission:


Remember the white building? And the giant green palm trees that adorned our old windows? Back then our windows didn't open, and we didn't have a patio.

We used another picture from our wall to create our second Dear Lawrence photo:


This picture is fun for us because it features Sandbar people in it. The picture is from St. Patrick's Day 1997, when we built an "Under the Sea" themed float.

Pictured are Cheryl, a former Sandbar-tender and one of the only girls to ever work the door (read her memories of the Sandbar here); Peach, our esteemed founder; Betsy, Ted's daughter; and finally little Andrew, who tends bar today.

And yes, that's a zebra. Peach and Ted own zebras on their farm outside Baldwin, and Peach walked the zebra in the parade behind our float.

We actually profiled the St. Patrick's Day/zebra picture as part of our "Off the Wall" series, where we share the stories behind the stuff on our walls. Read about it here.

You can see the entire Dear Lawrence photo gallery here.

How a Sandbar Float Begins

Every year, our St. Patrick's Day Parade float gets bigger, better and more complicated.

Here's how our planning starts:


This was Peach's vision for this year's volcano float. Yes, we originally talked about having a flash mob as part of our extravaganza, but that idea was nixed out of concern for safety and logistics. Plus, we already had a lot to plan, and wrangling a flash mob added extra work.

We start simple and go from there.

Thanks to our St. Patrick’s Day Helpers

Our annual St. Patrick's Day parade float wouldn't be possible without the hard work and dedication of a lot of people. Our founder, Peach, her husband, Ted, and our managing partner, Dave, provide the vision, support and patience needed to accomplish this project every year.

A big thank you to Scott Zaremba and Zarco66. Scott gave us a place to build the float (and it was indoors!), provided the trailer for us to build our volcano on and even pulled our float in the parade. Zarco66 also provided breakfast for our float crew on Thursday morning. The biscuits & gravy and breakfast burritos were delicious!

Thanks also to Sandbar Subs (23rd Street location) for providing dinner for our annual pre-parade social with the crew from Kennedy Glass on Wednesday night.

You'll be hearing more about Backdoor Bakery pretty soon. They gave us cupcakes and cookies as a treat after float dance practice- and oh my goodness, their baked goods are amazing. Cupcakes to die for!

Amelia Madl of Premier Mobile Spray Tan came into town on Tuesday before St. Pat's and held a spray tan party upstairs at the Sandbar. Nearly all of the ladies on our float were able to stop by for a quick tan. Thanks to Amelia for hanging around for almost five hours to make sure everyone looked lovely and tan!

And of course, huge thanks to everyone who helped design and build our float or who participated on parade day. We always say that building the float is half the fun, and this year was no exception. Our friends are the best!

Editor's note: Pretty sure I'm forgetting people. If you did something worthy and wish to be publicly thanked, let us know in the comments.

Another Great St. Patrick’s Day!

Another St. Patrick's Day has come and gone, and we're still recovering from all the fun. The weather was perfect, the crowds were great and we had as much fun as we always do!

This year, we got back to our roots and designed a tropical-themed float complete with a working volcano and lots of tiki heads, grass skirting and floral accents:

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Above: our float lined up on 13th St., hours before the parade started, and the float and all its riders at the Flamingo Club after the parade.

We had a great time singing and dancing down Massachusetts Street to "Hot Hot Hot," "Volcano," and "Scatman." Dave led the float crew and the crowd in a massive sing-along. We even had a bongo player front and center on the float.

Here's a short video of our float, shot by our friend Wendy:

We found a couple other videos online:

  • This one, by Mark Boyle, who used to work for Channel 6 in Lawrence and actually helped build our 2009 float, the Love Train.
  • 6NewsLawrence included our float in their parade highlight video.
  • And, the LJWorld included our float in their video. You can see us around the 1:20 mark. 

We have a few more video clips we'll share later. Some of the float, and some of the shenanigans on float day.

The annual parade ended at the Flamingo Club in North Lawrence, where food, drinks and the awards ceremony awaited. We're proud and excited that once again, we won the grand prize traveling trophy!

If you're on Facebook, you can check out our St. Patrick's Day photo album for pictures of float-building and the big day. (You have to be logged into Facebook, and 21 or older, in order to view our page.)

We'll be posting the pictures to our Flickr page soon, also, for those of you who aren't on Facebook.