Saturday, March 19, 2011

New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade {a proud tradition for 250 years}

We started our day with green smoothies, and then we walked east to 5th Avenue and the St. Patrick's Day Parade. It was one of the coolest things we've done in NYC yet. It was amazing because it was a parade of people. Not floats, not massive helium balloons, people. People marching because they are proud of their heritage, because they believe in something bigger than themselves. My husband commented that it was one of the most patriotic events he had ever attended, and I agreed. There were veterans marching with walkers and canes, proud of where they came from and what they stand for. There were fathers and sons in the "pipes and drums" ensembles, red-headed mothers and daughters dressed in traditional attire, and there were entire communities out in droves. There were members of the Army, the Navy, the Marine Corps, and the National Guard who marched in hundreds... it was overwhelming and incredibly moving.   

Did I mention that the parade consisted of over 335 groups from all over the United States, and that the parade runs from 10:45 am until 3:45 pm?  The NYC St. Patrick's Day is the oldest and largest parade in the world, and it has been a tradition since 1762! This tradition is older than the US itself.  One aspect I love is that there are representatives from each of the 32 counties in Ireland who march. After each pipes and drums group there would be a large (or small) group of people that followed, and they were the families representing their county, their heritage.  I went with hardly any expectations for the parade and I was absolutely blown away.    You can read more about the history of the event HERE.

Since I'm pretty much the biggest fan of bagpipes ever, I was in heaven.  The "pipes and drums" ensembles from all over the US were absolutely amazing. I was grinning from ear-to-ear the entire time.

We will definitely be back next year. 

here's a view of 5th Ave from the middle of the park as we made our way back home.  The American Flag procession went on for probably 10 blocks-worth of people. Amazing. 

No comments: