Dallas Cowboys star Emmitt Smith has been named the 2024 Celebrity Grand Marshal for the First Ever 21st Annual World's Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Hot Springs, Arkansas on March 17.

The legendary running back and Pro Football Hall of Fame member will be joined by the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, who will be making their ninth appearance in the parade.

“We looked back at the history of our big little parade,” said Visit Hot Springs CEO Steve Arrison, “and the Cowboys Cheerleaders are a constant fan favorite ever since they became part of the parade in 2013. Some folks can’t recall when they weren’t part of our festivities.

“And this year the Cheerleaders will perform with one of their biggest fans, our Celebrity Grand Marshal Emmitt Smith, a Cowboys legend who has become a staple of the media all over again with appearances at the Cowboys’ induction of Coach Jimmy Johnson into the Ring of Honor and starring in a series of hilarious TV commercials."

Arrison added: “Emmitt told us recently, ‘I look forward to joining the great tradition that is the World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade for their 21st year. The Cowboys Cheerleaders have fired up this celebration for many years, so I can’t wait to join the fun and see what Hot Springs is all about during this big, little parade.’”

In addition to Smith and the Cheerleaders, the 2024 parade will feature Forrie J. Smith, who portrays the beloved ranch hand Lloyd Pierce on the “Yellowstone” TV series, as the official parade starter.

The official parade celebration will begin Saturday evening, March 16, with a free public concert on Bridge Street by country music star Pat Green. Another free concert, featuring the tribute band The Molly Ringwalds, will commence immediately after the parade on Sunday, March 17.

The World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade® has brought worldwide attention to Hot Springs and helped expand the city’s reputation as a city that knows how to have fun.

It began in 2003 when some friends sharing an adult beverage came up with the idea of using the nearby 98-foot-long Bridge Street as the location for some fun. Bridge Street was named by Ripley’s Believe It or Not as the world’s shortest street in everyday use. The parade swiftly gained attention around the globe for the hilarious premise that gave birth to its annual aura of spectacular hilarity and now, Arrison said, 30,015 people are expected to gather in downtown Hot Springs for this year’s parade.

It annually features a lineup of outrageous wackiness that includes a troupe of Marching Irish Elvis Impersonators, green Irish wolfhounds, zany floats and marching units, plus a surprise or two.

For more information on the event, visit shorteststpats.com.