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Chuck Brooks: Get ready to celebrate busy Leprechaun Days

Sure and begorrah, Leprechaun Days has returned to the good people of Rosemount! Hopefully all will have found their version of the proverbial pot o' gold once these days have come and gone. Let's focus on the now, though, and all the fun one can consume beginning July 20.

I honestly can't attest to knowing the specifics to any of the events going on throughout the week aside from the two in which I'm directly involved. I can point you in the direction of Facebook should you be a Facebook user. You'll simply find them listed as Rosemount Leprechaun Days.

On Friday night, he 10-day affair kicks off with Friday Night Magic. It's a game. And I'm learning that adults and kids play it together. That will actually happen on both Friday nights of the week, the 20th and the 27th.

There are a couple other events before Monday, June 23, when the annual Lost Medallion Hunt begins. If you go online to SunThisweek.com, you will find clues beginning 9 a.m. Check 'em out.

This year there's a contest for amateur singers the 22nd at the Steeple Center beginning at 1 p.m. Other fun activities happening throughout the week include a kids' dance, Jazzercise in the Park, Community Appreciation cookout, family fun night and so much more. It's a week of family entertainment should families choose to take part.

It all leads up to the beginning of the climactic weekend, beginning with the parade! Here's where I have more knowledge.

Marching orders

About six or seven years ago, I was asked to emcee so the regular announcer could be the grand marshal in the parade. They haven't kicked me out of that role since. And I'm glad they haven't.

My morning begins when I arrive to the table on 145th Street around 10:30 a.m. I used to bring breakfast from McDonald's to the announcer's table, but I've switched to a Starbucks' beverage in the last couple of years. I am greeted by two young ladies, sisters actually, who have lived in the Rosemount community for many years. They assist me with my task that morning. We catch up on a year's worth of life.

However, in the course of a year, I will run into the two at Cub Foods. Catch-up time, as you might imagine, is not as conducive there.

I page through the parade book and get familiar once again with the scheme of things. The initial pages are always pages I want to look at, so I'm ready when the parade appears down the street. Between 10:30 and 11 a.m., it's essentially down time; people will be walking by who I might know but haven't seen since retiring. School people. Former students or parents. I always appreciate that dimension to my announcer's role.

Once the parade begins, I generally see more of those people marching by. Some I recognize and some who holler to get my attention are completely unrecognizable. The mind is the first thing to go.

Making the call

When the parade ends, the ladies and I fight over who's going to get which freebies given to us by the parade marchers. I then head home for a breather before returning to the park at 2 p.m. for my second stage of involvement: family bingo.

This will be my third year of bingo with Leprechaun Days. I have written it here before. I love this event. It's attended well, and we have a ton of fun. These people are bingo cultists.

Last year, I saw many of the same faces who attended the previous year. They have the lingo down pat — far better than I. "B-4!" to which they respond, "And after!" and so on and so forth. It's great fun for the adults and kids alike. Check it out!

This year, when that's done, I'll go home for yet another breather before heading out to the Hilton by the Mall of America for the 1988 class reunion. It'll be a huge bonus for me.

I began in the fall of 1982. They were in the early years of my career. I am looking forward to seeing them after all these years. I'll also be joined by the choir directors from those years. It should be fun. If I can, I'll get back by 10 p.m. to Rosemount for the day's finale, the fireworks!

As an encore event to Leprechaun Days, the Rosemount Community Band will perform a joint concert, "A Salute to the Armed Forces,: with the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division Band at 7 p.m. Monday, June 30, in Rosemount Central Park. It's a free concert, so bring a blanket or lawn chairs. It promises to be a great night of music and community.

What the heck? Next week is the last July column?! Where did July go? Where, indeed.

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