HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (KTHV) - Since its inception, the annual St. Patrick's Day parade in Hot Springs has held the title of being the world's shortest. But now, an Irish Pub in New York City is challenging that, and it's getting a lot of attention from big media such as the New York Times.
"Bring it," said Blue Moon Gallery Owner Dishongh Scavo. "Bring it. Bring it."
That's Scavo's message to the Irish Pub in the Bronx. Hot Springs Resident Eric Westerman has the same message.
"No way," Westerman. "We've got the shortest street and the best parade."
This is the 11th year for the World's Shortest St. Patrick's Day Parade in Hot Springs. It will take place on March 17th. The parade is on Bridge Street. About 75 years ago, this street became known as the shortest working street in the world because of Ripley's Believe It or Not.
"They said it, and we believe it," said CEO of Visit Hot Springs Steve Arrison. "It's 98 feet. That's where our parade is, and it's the shortest in the world. Documented. We measure it every year to make sure. So we win. We love you New York. We lent you Bill Clinton, but you can't have our parade."
According to Arrison, the parade at the pub in the Bronx goes in one door of the bar and out the back door of the bar.
"It's funny and all that, but it's not a challenge to us at all," said Arrison.
Arrison added that if they really felt threatened, they'd march in place or march the parade backwards, just to make sure Hot Springs kept the title.
"Nothing to worry about Arkansas, we're in good shape here," said Arrison. "We're going to show them what a real St. Patrick's Day celebration is all about."
"The energy of it," said Dishongh Scavo. "The ownership of it by the people who live and work here. It's our parade. We're proud of it, and we have a good time."
THV 11 reached out to the owner of An Beal Bocht in the Bronx. He tells us that the parade in Hot Springs inspired him to create one in New York. No worries for Hot Springs, the Bronx bar is not looking for official parade sanctions like Hot Springs has, he says it's just for fun.
Meanwhile, Hot Springs is making another claim this year. They say they are introducing the shortest celebrities to the parade. A group of jockeys from Oaklawn will saddle up on a float for this year's St. Patrick's Day festivities.