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The March 16 parade draws crowds from across Washington County. and beyond, organizers say.

Hillsboro's annual St. Patrick's Day parade is right around the corner, and organizers at Murphy's Furniture in Cornelius are putting out the call for local floats and entries.

Originally conceived in 1979 as a way for local businesses to promote themselves, the parade has become a major draw across Western Washington County.

Organizers are encouraging local businesses and organizations to participate in this year's 40th anniversary parade.

"This was the purpose of the original celebration, and it's a good time to revisit past successes," organizers Mary Murphy-Holub and Kathy Murphy said in a statement.

The two sisters, who took over organizing the parade from their mother, Ruth Murphy, said the celebration is "a symbol of the hope brought with spring."

The parade, scheduled for March 16, begins at Hare Field, 1151 N.E. Grant St., in Hillsboro, and will proceed through downtown.

Entries could be extravagant, like the St. Paul, Columbia County and Tillamook County Fair Rodeo Courts which have participated in previous years, or simple. Even local families have been known to form their own entry and get a few minutes of fame as they walk through the parade.

The parade will feature a few new twists this year, organizers said.

The Friends of the Hillsboro Community Senior Center's corned beef and cabbage fundraiser will run from noon to 2 p.m., at the center, 750 S.E. Eighth Ave.

Entry forms are available at murphysfurniture.net/events/st-patricks-day-parade, at the Hillsboro and Forest Grove Chamber of Commerce offices or at Murphy's Furniture, 2962 E. Baseline St., in Cornelius.

Entry fees for the parade will go to the Inukai Family Boys and Girls Club, in Hillsboro.

For more information call Murphy's Furniture at 503-640-1124.

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