SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — For more than 40 years, downtown Sioux Falls has hosted the St. Patrick’s Day parade along Phillips Avenue. The annual tradition has become so ingrained in Sioux Falls culture that it’s easy to overlook the behind-the-scenes effort to host the parade year after year.

“There’s a significant amount of manpower that it goes into all events, but particularly the parade events, because there are so many streets that we do need to shutdown,” Lieutenant Andrew Siebenborn said Thursday. “We also have to keep the city functioning.”

While a parade only needs to file a permit with the city 90 days prior to the event, a parade as large as the St. Patrick’s Day event begins the work much earlier.

“There’s a team that falls under me that includes Sergeant Troy Bruxvoort who’s our events sergeant and he’s the one who does a lot of the– quite frankly a lot of the legwork,” Siebenborn explained.

That includes coordinating with parade organizers throughout the year to plan the upcoming event and improve on any issues that may have arisen from past events.

“What he will do specifically is follow back up with the parade organizers and say, what worked well what didn’t work well, okay, that maybe the staging area or something wasn’t super-efficient, and then we’d look to identify the strengths and weaknesses of all these events,” Siebenborn said.

For this year’s event, Siebenborn estimates there will be an additional 30 to 40 officers on hand for Saturday’s parade to ensure the event flows smoothly.

“Specifically, just to assist with being able to get the parade off the ground and shut down the appropriate streets,” Siebenborn said.

Phillips Avenue will be closed for the parade beginning around 1:30 p.m. on Saturday from 14th Street down to 5th Street. The festivities are expected to finish at 3:30 p.m. and Siebenborn anticipates it will take “a little bit of time” to clear the streets so that they can reopen.

Another aspect of organizing the parade includes making sure that the people who live and work downtown are able to get in and out despite the road closures.

“We were able to identify the areas that people live in the lofts down there and we do have adequate ingress and egress and brief the officers that are stationed in those areas how we will help get people to and from their residences,” Siebenborn said.

For this year’s parade, Siebenborn doesn’t anticipate that the inclement winter weather will impact Saturday’s events.

“I would just tell people… give yourself plenty of time to get down there,” Siebenbord cautioned. “If you’re going to… come down… obviously, it’s gonna be a little bit chillier than normal sometimes for the St. Patty’s Day Parade so please make sure you wear the necessary good attire.”

Siebenborn also wants to remind people to celebrate safely and avoid getting behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking.

“St. Patty’s Day is a fun event, the parade’s a fun event. It is a holiday that usually involves, for some people, a bit of indulgence in adult beverages which is fine,” Siebenborn said. “If you’ve been drinking, [ensure] that you have a designated driver. We have a ton of good taxi services, a ton of good rideshare services that don’t turn out to be really joyous, happy day and event for the city and there’s something bad something tragic, where you end up drinking and driving to the restaurant or heaven forbid injure someone in an alcohol related crash.”