Tuesday, March 17, 2009

NYC St Patrick's Day Parade

I'd never known there was a big St. Patrick's Day parade in Manhattan. It runs up 5th Ave between 44th Street and 86th. I'm thinking - bonus! I can just walk over!
I think that Saint Patrick's Day may have turned into a religious holiday. Depending on your age, and whether you actually are Irish, your experience will vary. Loads of parade viewers were dressed up with all manner of green - hats, sweaters, t-shirts, beads, garland, boas - you name it. Vendors were even selling green cotton candy. I left the apartment at 11:00 thinking that it would take time for the parade to actually get to 86th street. And it took about an hour for the parade to reach the upper east side.

When the parade started, I was pleasantly surprised to see the Londonderry High School marching band had made the trip to NYC for the celebration.
Unfortunately my camera battery died after this so you don't get to see all the gorgeous costumes and kilts and different kinds of plaid. Who knew there were this many people who play bagpipes on the East coast???

I only stayed a little more than an hour. This parade is the largest in NYC, and does not allow floats or vehicals. It lasted past 4:00. On the way home I ended up behind some college kids (was it really THAT long ago that I was that young?) and I think they may have started early in their celebrations. They had t-shirts they made - one girl was pleased to be known as Mc-O'lobe Ultra and very proud of her obvious Irish heritage.
Maybe next year I'll have some visitors that will come for the celebrations, and definitely next year I'll choose something other than alcohol to give up for lent. I'll remember to get some St Patricks Day beads, ties, hats and maybe even a boa ;)