There's something endearing about St. Patrick's Day. One day each year, everyone can be Irish. (I myself am sticking with Greek - 365 days a year.) I like being in the car on my way to the grocery store or some other mundane destination and seeing men, women and children dressed in green walking their dogs, running or pumping gas. I like to imagine that they all had a green shirt or accessory in mind for March 17 and have been looking forward to wearing it. The leprechaun in the picture is Beeeeeeeert Case, this year's Grand Marshall.
A spring tradition that I was somewhat aware of also occurs on this day - Mal's St. Paddy's Day Parade in Jackson, Miss (this year is the 25th anniversary - pretty impressive). Now I had heard glowing reviews of this event from people I consider to be good-time-havers, so I put aside my aversion to parades with the idea and the first-hand accounts that "this parade is different." I donned my green shirt (I had to get a new one at Old Navy) and went to a great pre-parade brunch at our friends Cliff and Katy's house. At this point, I was ready to see what all the buzz was about.
On our way to downtown Jackson, we passed scads of cars from all over the state and further and had to park what seemed like miles away from where we were going to set up parade camp. I was beginning to understand what a big deal this is to lots of people, and my curiosity grew. Upon arrival to our parade-watching site, I was really getting excited to see the event.
Well, let me tell you this: something about wearing green, flying beads and Sweet Potato Queens (there are only a few originals - the rest are Wannabes...really - that's what they call themselves) makes people come out of the woodwork and act INSANE. I saw from my perch some high school kids reveling in what seemed like their first "drunk" experience, a guy in a green apron puking his guts out and a basset hound enjoying green Jell-O shots. What happens at the parade stays at the parade? I think not - it ends up on people's blogs.
"Erin Go Bragh!" I guess...