St. Patrick’s Day parade, festivities March 17

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Stacy Polodna (back row, left) will be this year’s St. Patrick’s Day parade grand marshal. Pictured with his family, he was a member of the Prairie du Chien Police Department since 1999, before retiring in 2017 due to health reasons. (Photo by Lindsey Ludvik Photography)

St. Patrick himself will lead the parade on March 17 in downtown Prairie du Chien, where there will be no lack of green or Irish spirit. (Courier Press file photo)

Kids and adults alike are bound to bring out their inner leprechaun for the St. Patty’s Day celebration this Saturday. (Courier Press file photo)

Celebrate the green in Prairie du Chien on Saturday, March 17, as the Prairie du Chien Area Chamber of Commerce hosts its annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration. The fun begins along the packed streets of the beautiful, historic downtown, as the parade kicks off at 10 a.m. The seemingly never-ending stream of entrants will be led by Prairie du Chien’s own St. Patrick, followed by this year’s royalty. 

The grand marshal for the 2018 parade is Stacy Polodna. Layne and Susan David will preside as this year’s king and queen of the parade. 

All parade participants are asked to assemble on St. Feriole Island, beginning at 9 a.m. The parade will start from the island and go east on Blackhawk Avenue, then north on Michigan Street and back to the island. 

After the parade, residents, visitors and lucky spirit seekers are encouraged to stop in at any of the many area businesses that will be serving corned beef and cabbage, green beer and other Irish specialties. Of course, most establishments will also offer their regularly delicious menus and traditional drinks that day as well.

Grand marshal

Stacy Polodna, this year’s parade grand marshal, is a retired detective of the Prairie du Chien Police Department (2017). 

He is the son of Pete Polodna and the late Janet Cherrier Klinkenberg. He’s been married to Cari for 18 years and is blessed with three beautiful children: Abigail, Alivia and Peter.

Stacy graduated from Prairie du Chien High School in 1987, and began working at the police department part-time while in college. In 1999, he was hired as a full-time officer, and in 2011, he was promoted to detective. In 2016, Stacy was awarded the Officer of the Year honor. He’s also received life-saving awards, was a member of the  elder abuse committee, dive team, SWAT team and Crime Stoppers, all in Crawford County.

Personally, he’s been involved in the school communities of both Prairie du Chien and River Ridge, coaching little league over the years. 

Stacy was a huge part of the Prairie du Chien Police Department. He has a very strong relationship with many residents and business owners thanks to his career as detective. He had a passion for solving burglaries and solved many that took place in downtown Prairie du Chien.

In recent years, Stacy was diagnosed with glioblastoma brain cancer, therefore retiring from the department for health reasons.

King and Queen

Susan Boldt-David is a third grade teacher at Bluff View Intermediate School in Prairie du Chien. Along with her husband, Layne David, who is a retired 3M employee, they are this year’s St. Patrick’s Day king and queen. 

Susan’s Irish roots go all the way back to Buchanan Street, where her parents have been mainstays in the annual parade with the McCoy clan. Layne married into the shamrock lifestyle, but never missed a beat as he is well-known as the “Potato Man” during the Irish holiday and even during Halloween. 

The royal couple are happy to be  part of the royal tradition that includes Susan’s parents Dale and Rusty Boldt, her sister and brother-in-law Kathy and Gary Koch, and their good family friends Bill and Pat McCoy.

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