Hot Springs, Arkansas will host their 17th annual First Ever World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day in March

The "World’s Tallest Leprechaun” has announced his retirement ahead of this year’s World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade which is scheduled for March 17 in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

Read More: “World-famous bad man” named official starter of this 2020 St. Patrick’s Day Parade

In a press release, organizers for the 17th annual event said: “The World’s Tallest Leprechaun is hanging up his green duds, and a Hot Springs native will be stepping into the role — albeit in a smaller frame — for the First Ever 17th Annual World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 17 in downtown Hot Springs.

☘️ The"World’s Tallest Leprechaun" -- a fixture at our little parade since its inception -- is hanging up his bright...

Publiée par World's Shortest St. Patrick's Day Parade sur Mardi 31 décembre 2019

“Dick Antoine, widely recognized as one of Hot Springs’ biggest promoters, is retiring after being involved as a huge leprechaun from the very beginning of the parade in 2003.

“His successor leprechaun — though not the world’s tallest — will be Roger Scott, a Hot Springs native who now is one of the hosts of the wildly popular 'Show With No Name' on Little Rock radio station 103.7 The Buzz."

Scott began his entertainment career as the Trojan Chicken mascot at Hot Springs High School in the early ‘80s, and later started his long-running career in Arkansas radio with original characters and impressions.

The new leprechaun said: “I’ve never been to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. I’ve always had a conflict when the parade came around, but I always knew it’s always been one of the coolest events anywhere.

“I mean it’s St. Patrick’s Day, shortest street in the world and it’s in my hometown. Bridge Street, where the parade takes place, is the very corner I stood as a kid every year to watch the Hot Springs Christmas parade go up and down Central Avenue.

“When I was told that long-time leprechaun and legendary Hot Springs radio host and it’s No. 1 ambassador, Dick Antoine, was hanging up his square-cut coat, shoes, and buckles, and map to the end of the rainbow pot of gold, I thought where were they going to find another 7-foot leprechaun?

“Well, a few weeks go by and I receive an email. Seven-foot leprechauns just don’t grow on trees so they went 180 degrees from Dick. I’m put in contact with Monte Everhart, the other half of the giant leprechaun duo, and boom! No hesitation on my part, I’m in!

“I’ve cleared my calendar for March 17.  I’m not only going to witness the parade for the first time, I’m gonna live it. I’m gonna participate in it. I couldn’t be more thrilled.”  

Read More: Hot Springs, Arkansas hosts multi-day St. Patrick's Day celebration

Steve Arrison, CEO of Visit Hot Springs and one of the founders of the city’s annual parade, said: “Dick Antoine has been a tireless advocate for Hot Springs for a generation.

“He has been involved with the St. Patrick’s Day Parade from the inception, and he and Monte Everhart, The World’s Biggest Leprechaun, have entertained hundreds of thousands of parade-goers over the years.

“No one can replace Dick, but Roger will prove to be just as entertaining for the crowds."

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The 17th annual first-ever World's Shortest St. Patrick's Day Parade

Already announced for the 2020 parade have been Cheech Marin as the celebrity grand marshal, Danny (Machete) Trejo as the official starter, Fredbird, the official mascot of the St. Louis Cardinals, and characters from television’s “PAW Patrol,” accompanied by fishing legend Charlie Evans.

☘️ Hey Maaaaannn... You've never seen a St. Patrick's Day parade as green as this before! ☘️ Cheech Marin, half of the...

Publiée par World's Shortest St. Patrick's Day Parade sur Dimanche 22 septembre 2019

In addition, for the third year in a row, there will be two free public music concerts associated with the 2020 parade: Blues Travel on March 16, and Foghat on March 17 immediately following the parade.

The parade, which began in 2003, annually attracts crowds of upwards of 30,000 people to watch an insanely zany collection of Irish Elvis impersonators, green Irish wolfhounds, marching units such as Paddy O’Furniture, Irish belly dancers and the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, as well as other unique units cover the 98-foot length of Bridge Street, the World’s Shortest Street in Everyday Use.

For more information, visit the parade's Facebook page or website.

Read More: Surprising places around the world that celebrate St. Patrick's Day

Have you ever attended the First Ever World's Shortest St. Patrick's Day Parade in Hot Springs, Arkansas? Share your experience in the comments!