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Greenville Avenue St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2010

March 14, 2010

Saturday was the annual Greenville Avenue St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  The weather was fantastic and the crowds were larger than I’ve ever seen them.  My wife and I were on the 17th Society‘s float.  The theme of our float this year was “The Mad Patters”, our green twist on Alice In WonderLand.

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Parade Day starts at 7:30 in the morning at Trinity Hall for a full Irish breakfast of bangers and rashers, and of course Guiness and a drink reffered to by the impolitic as “car bombs” (but by the Trinity Hall staff as “peace makers”).

From there it’s up to the staging area near the corner of Greenville and Blackwell to arrange the floats in the proper order on Greenville avenue, which is closed off for the Parade.  At 11 the parade starts and the 17th Society’s float throws green beads and shamrock stickers into the throngs on the parade route.  This year we threw 17,000 strings of beads into the crowd.  Our intrepid leader, the Honorable Mayor of Greenville Avenue (MOGA for short) says that the 17th Society float was the first float to start throwing beads to the crowds many years ago, although now many floats do so as well. The crowd occasionally throws things back at the floats: green jello shots, doughnuts, and moonpies.

After the parade ends, the float riders head south to Lower Greenville Avenue for either the block party (for which a section of Lower Greenville Avenue with many of best bars in town is blocked of from traffic for a street party with many booths set up to sell food, libations, and assorted green miscellany) or to the numerous house parties thrown by residents of the nearby neighborhood.  The Event is well policed, including by several mounted units for crown control.

For our part, my wide and I went first to the block party, specifically to Stan’s Blue Note, and then to two different house parties whereat we met up with several friends who had attended the parade as spectators.

By 5 we had found our way to a friend’s house to watch the final game of the Big 12 Tournament at which Kansas defeated Kansas State to win the Big 12 Championship thus providing the Jayhawks the ammunition they needed to gain the overall #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

All in all, pretty close to the perfect St. Patrick’s Parade day.

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