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Shamrock in Wheeler County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Shamrock’s St. Patrick’s Day Celebration

 
 
Shamrock’s St. Patrick’s Day Celebration Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, July 6, 2017
1. Shamrock’s St. Patrick’s Day Celebration Marker
Inscription.  

Early area settler George Nickel and his wife, Dora (Haggard), raised their family in a dugout home in Wheeler County. For his Irish heritage and for its symbolism of luck and courage, George suggested “Shamrock” for a Post Office approved for their home in 1890. The name was retained when the town of Shamrock was platted along the Rock Island Railroad built through the county in 1902.

Shamrock bandmaster Glenn A, Truax envisioned the town capitalizing on its Irish name by producing a one-day celebration to draw thousands of visitors to the “Irish City.” With the help of the Shamrock Boosters Club, the first St. Patrick’s Day Festival was celebrated in 1938, linking the local celebration with the Feast Day of the Patron Saint of Ireland. The first observance featured such free attractions as a parade, street dance, matinees at the Liberty and Texas Theaters, a massed band concert of five hundred pieces from twelve cities, and historical and dramatic presentations, attracting about 12,000 people to a town of less than 4,000. The following year attendance topped 30,000, with parade spectators positioned along
Shamrock’s St. Patrick’s Day Celebration Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen Lowrey, July 12, 2020
2. Shamrock’s St. Patrick’s Day Celebration Marker
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streets and roofs of downtown buildings.

          The annual event continued until it was suspended during World War II and again during the Korean War. The Chamber of Commerce took over sponsorship in 1952. Shamrock’s St. Patrick’s Day Celebration has welcomed many state and national figures in politics, sports, music and entertainment. It has evolved to a multiple-day affair, retaining many original activities and adding several others that have become annual tradition and an important part of the economy. In 2013, the Texas legislature adopted House Concurrent Resolution 83, proclaiming Shamrock’s celebration the Official St.Patrick’s Day Celebration for the State of Texas.
 
Erected 2016 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 18548.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Settlements & Settlers.
 
Location. 35° 12.936′ N, 100° 14.941′ W. Marker is in Shamrock, Texas, in Wheeler County. Marker is at the intersection of N Main Street (U.S. 83) and E 2nd Street, on the right when traveling north on N Main Street. The marker is located on the northeast corner of the intersection. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Shamrock TX 79079, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Welcome to Blarney Stone Plaza (a few steps from this marker); The Legend of St. Patrick and the Shamrock
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(a few steps from this marker); Shamrock Water Tower (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); First Baptist Church of Shamrock (approx. 0.2 miles away); Shamrock Methodist Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Bowers Cemetery (approx. 0.7 miles away); Tower Building (approx. ¾ mile away); "Bill Mack's influence on country music is legendary" (approx. ¾ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Shamrock.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 14, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 16, 2017. This page has been viewed 177 times since then and 3 times this year. Last updated on July 14, 2020, by Allen Lowrey of Amarillo, Texas. Photos:   1. submitted on July 16, 2017, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.   2. submitted on July 14, 2020, by Allen Lowrey of Amarillo, Texas. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 13, 2021