The Mansfield Pickle Queens are taking things up a notch for next year’s St. Paddy’s Pickle Parade and Palooza on March 17 and 18.
Ten-time Grammy Award-winners Asleep at the Wheel, known for Texas swing hits such as Miles and Miles of Texas and Get your Kicks on Route 66, will perform March 18 in downtown Mansfield.
It’s the most high-profile band to headline the free event.
Local bands performed at the World’s Only St. Paddy’s Pickle Parade the first five years and attendance has grown larger each year. This year, organizers wanted to bring in a bigger act, one that would push attendance to 35,000 or 40,000 people in downtown Mansfield, said John Pressley, president of the Pickled Mansfield Society.
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They also wanted one that fit with the western-style theme Need more Kowbell, a reference to the rodeo arena that used to be where Legacy High School stands, Pressley said.
They did some research and found that Austin-based band Asleep at the Wheel was available that weekend and could perform—for $20,000.
The Pickled Mansfield Society had already received $25,000 in hotel/motel tax funds to pay for other parade expenses. They didn’t have an additional $20,000 to pay one band.
“It would have been really difficult to raise that kind of extra money over the next couple of months,” Pressley said.
They had to ask the city for additional funds.
This month, the City Council voted unanimously to authorize the additional funding to reimburse the Pickled Mansfield Society for its expenses.
Paulette Uzee, treasurer of the Pickled Mansfield Society, said she’s always been a fan of Asleep at the Wheel and has seen them live several times. Most recently, she and several other Pickle Queens saw the band perform in Fort Worth.
“We got really excited because we know it’s going to bring a lot of people to Mansfield,” Uzee said.
She and the 13 other Pickle Queens travel throughout Texas to march in other parades to promote Mansfield’s event. That includes the State Fair of Texas parade at Fair Park in Dallas.
Mayor David Cook said this event will be a great chance to showcase downtown Mansfield to new visitors.
“I think it’s a huge boost to a very successful program that the Pickle Queens have put together over the last few years,” Cook said. “They have a deep passion for the city of Mansfield.”
World’s Only St. Paddy’s Pickle Parade & Palooza