With Mardi Gras parades a month behind us, the St. Patrick’s festivities offer a city-wide pick-me-up including several parties and parades. Our favorite event is the Irish Channel Parade put on by the Irish Channel St. Patrick’s Day Club since 1947. With floats, throws, dance troupes and walking krewes, the parade includes over 1400 (often drunk) walkers in black suits and green accessories (many in kilts) exchanging silk flowers for kisses from the women and children on the route. The men of the Irish Channel Corner Club celebrated their 100th year!
In addition to the walkers with flowers, there are two major differences between a Carnival parade and the Irish Channel Parade. The first is the green. There are green wigs, green beads, glittery green beards, green tutus, green dogs, green shoes and green t-shirts with clever Irish-themed sayings. The second major difference is with the throws. As usual, there are the beads, plush toys, Moon Pies, cups and other Carnival classics but there are also Irish Spring soaps, Lucky Charms, anything shamrock-shaped and the ingredients for stew – cabbage, carrots and Ramen Noodles.
And I still get a kick out of the Celtic Highlanders‘ rolling bar, the Rogue’s Lair as well as the wigged men of the Braveheart Warriors Marching Club and the green-afroed women of Alter Egos. I’m looking forward to cabbage stew, cole slaw and grilled cabbage steaks.
For more history of the parade and its organizers, click here.