Happy St. Patrick’s Day! What did you do to celebrate? You know, I haven’t been much of a fan of St. Paddy’s Day. I think it started when I was in elementary school and I wasn’t wearing green for the day. I remember getting pinched, and pinched and pinched.

So yeah, no fun. Then in college it seemed like just another excuse to party, but this time with green beer. I liked the partying, but never got excited about the green beer because I don’t like beer. And no one would ever think to drink green wine. At least not me.

The city has died its river green for more than 40 years.

The city has died its river green for more than 40 years.

When we got older and were in Chicago, it seemed like it St. Patrick’s Day was one to avoid the drunken stupor that settled in over the city. I loved watching the Chicago River being dyed an emeraldish green. (A stark difference from its already a gunky green color.) The braver of my friends ventured down to the South Side Irish Parade for the rowdy celebrations. Things got so out of hand that in 2010 and 2011 they canceled that parade because of all the drunken debauchery. It’s since resumed and in a milder, family friendly form.

This year, we got our celebrating in early through our Boy Scout troop. (Yes, we joined. That post is on my To Do list.) I was by far the most excited of our family to be in this parade. I even bought a ridiculous hat that had stringy red hair attached to the back.

You know you're jealous of my fabulous bolo.

You know you’re jealous of my fabulous bolo.

My love of parades began as a kid. I was in a gymnastics club and we used to be in a few parades. We’d decorate my dad’s or someone else’s truck and take turns either riding in the truck bed or tumbling in the street. Each year we asked parade organizers to place us in front of the horses. Each year it seemed like we were always behind the horses. So we always had to be careful where we stuck our landings. Besides dodging piles of steaming horse poo while cartwheeling, it was really fun.

Also, I’ve told you guys a few times about our competitive seat-holding for the Fourth of July parade. This St. Patrick’s Day parade wasn’t on that level, but it was quaint and fun. On Saturday, we traveled through some neighborhoods Hubby and I hadn’t yet seen and then went through Hillsboro’s charming downtown.

My leprechauns on the float.

My leprechauns on the float.

When we spotted our friends, we were sure to toss them extra handfuls of candy though Logan was a bit annoyed whenever I grabbed at his bag of candy because he was committed to portioning it throughout the parade so that there’d be enough to hand out to the kids placed at the end of the parade route. However he was so cautious, we ended up having a fair amount of candy to take home.

After a great parade, we went out to lunch to our favorite McMenamins to celebrate and enjoy the sunshine. I decided it was too soon for me to part with my green bolo hat and stringy red hair, so I wore that throughout lunch.

We got a lot of bemused looks and arched eyebrows, but I’ve always enjoyed being a little off.

 


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