This is my 4th year celebrating St. Patrick’s in New Orleans. I don’t say St. Patrick’s “Day” because it goes on for longer, up to a week. I’m not Irish but I’ve really caught the St. Pat’s fever beading my fence line, decorating a wreath and wearing wig-to-petticoats green. There are many parades and events but my favorite thus far is the Irish Channel St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Over 1400 (often drunk) walkers in black suits and green accessories (many in kilts) exchange silk flowers for kisses from the women and children on the route. Then floats pass tossing cabbage, carrots, Oodles of Noodles, pickles, Moon Pies, Lucky Charms and Irish Spring soap in addition to the traditional throws of beads, toys and cups.
This is my 3rd year making cabbage stew and cole slaw with my cabbage and carrots catches. They continue to improve with every attempt (thought the stew is still better than the slaw so I’m open to recipes) and I have 3 giant cabbage to make magic with this year. That said, my wreath has come MILES since my first St. Patrick’s wreath.
The parade always starts with the buggies of the Farhad Grotto Bug Patrol. The pom pommed cuties of St. Alphonsus Catholic School followed before the dancing girls of Muggivan School of Irish Dance kicked their way down Jackson, their tightly curled hair piled stops their heads like ribbon on a gift. Next were the men of the Irish Channel Corner Club established in 1918 along with the Pocket Aces Brass Band. Then came the The Lyons Carnival Club, the Ancient Order of Hibernians founded in 1836 and the Law Enforcement Emerald Society. The Emerald Society invites law enforcement officers from other cities including D.C., Baltimore, New York, Boston and London! It still cracks me up to see the officers wearing hands-free beer necklaces and enjoying drinking in public. And I still get a kick out of the Celtic Highlanders‘ rolling bar, the Rogue’s Lair. For the men in the crowd, the Daughters of Lir also offer kisses for flowers and a giant swan.
It’s always fun when you know riders on a float. If you can get their attention, they tend to shower friends with gifts. That’s how I got my super cool shamrock big beads and my awesome new shamrock tiara. The Irish Channel St. Patrick’s Day Club was established in 1947 and has held a mass and parade for over 60 years. For more history of the parade and its organizers, click here. Enjoy the video and photos!