Steve Dunn, president of the St. Patricks Day Parade of Tucson talks about the upcoming St. Pattys day parade and festival.

While some U.S. communities have been celebrating St. Patrick's Day since before the American Revolution, it wasn't until the 1980s that residents in the Tucson area decided to work on a parade and festival of their own.

Twenty-five years later, the 2012 parade will recognize these pioneers for their dedication and commitment to the cultural richness of our community, and will honor one of the parade's founders as Grand Marshal.

The celebration of Irish and Irish-American culture will feature multiple activities and entertainment, such as games, music, dancers and food.

The festival begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 17th in Tucson's El Presidio Park and will be followed by a one-hour parade starting at 11 a.m. The route starts at Pennington and Stone Avenue and will make its way around the Presidio in downtown Tucson.

Organizers say a portion of the festival proceeds will be contributed to the Tucson Police Officers Association.