Sunday, March 17, 2013

On St. Patrick's Day (or I should say, St. Patrick's week) in New Orleans, everybody is irish. So, that's not just folks of European extraction. That's everybody. After all, the weather is warming up, so it's time for another parade. Warm enough to sit outside on your front porch, balcony, sidewalk or the neutral ground. Or sit in a bar and watch it all go by.

As one Mardi Gras Indian pointed out last night at the Sacred Music Festival, New Orleans has many tribes. Not just the Indian tribes, but also the Irish tribes. And within the Irish tribes, you have the St. Bernard Irish - a big tribe - West Bank, downtown, Irish Channel and even Metairie Irish.

A lot of Irish immigrated to New Orleans, stayed and reproduced, as Irish Catholics do. They established churches and schools and invited others to become Catholics and Irish.

Irish men having a good time

Thus, there are several parades spread over more than a week and four over the weekend. I ran into the St. Bernard parade last week trying to go to the grocery store. Forget it!

Friday was Jim Monaghan's Parade in the French Quarter that starts and stops at Molly's on the Market bar. We totally missed that one although it must have occurred because we found green beads in the streets. There are photos on the Times-Pic web site.

The parade's Grand Marshall was Edwin Edwards who was Louisiana governor before spending time in prison. If there is anything characteristic of New Orleanians, we are forgiving.

Anyway, there was another parade in the Irish Chanel the next day. So, no worries! Though the floats are not as impressive as those of Mardi Gras, the marchers are friendly if not as well disciplined. You are sure to win a paper flower or green garter in exchange for a kiss from a handsome Irishman if you make yourself available.

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