Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The big day is finally here!

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Here's what I woke up to out in front of our house this morning:
I had no idea when we rented this house that we would be in the middle of "Parade Central." I later found out that all the parades here start out RIGHT IN FRONT OF OUR HOUSE! I awoke expecting my sister's arrival and spending the better part of my day preparing for same. But when I realized there was going to be a parade and I weighed it against house cleaning, guess what won? As you can see by the way people are dressed, this is a most unusual St. Patrick's Day in the midwest since there is no blizzard going on!

There were many antique and classic vehicles in the parade, floats with Irish dancers, motorcycles, the Knights of Columbus float and several high school marching bands. Apparently St. Patrick's Day is a school holiday here as well. There were local companies represented as well as some of the larger local "clans" and of course, the politicians. The most unusual participants were the group of folks pulling simple wagons with coolers on them -- and handing out BAKED POTATOES! Awesome!

I was amazed at the size of this small-town-America gathering. Not sure when or why I fell in love with this particular holiday; it is second only to Halloween in my list of favorites. I know it had nothing to do with the original meaning of Patrick driving the snakes (pagans) out of Ireland. Probably had something to do with green beer, great food and fun.

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Speaking of good food, now that the parade's over it's time for me to get busy -- corned beef and cabbage, new potatoes in lemon butter, Irish soda bread (NO RAISINS!) and Harp beer. Oh yeah, and bread pudding (WITH RAISINS!) for dessert. Enjoy!

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