Mar 14, 2011

Dublin, OH St. Patrick's Day Parade

Dublin, OH, puts on a fine parade the Saturday before St. Patrick's Day. In fact, US News & World Report named this parade as one of the top ten in the country.

These parades originated not in Ireland, but in America by Irish immigrants. The first parade is said to have been held in New York City in 1762 (before America was a country!) but Boston supposedly had the earliest informal parade way back in 1737.

New York's parade, however, will this year recognize its 249th year.

The parade in Dublin, OH, has much more modern roots--the 1980's. It draws a crowd of about 20,000, which is pretty good considering what the weather in Central Ohio is often like in March. This year, however, was wonderfully sunny and fairly mild. A great day for the parade.

Besides these balloons, Dublin had two gigantic shamrocks.

There were also high school marching bands, several Irish dancing schools, jugglers, clowns, the usual politicians, Irish wolfhounds, other dogs, youth football clubs, police and firefighters, local restaurants, and tons of candy throwers (although they didn't throw but carefully put the candy in the kid's bags.) I'm sure there were more groups in the parade that I've forgotten. An hour before the parade started, The Hooligans performed some traditional Irish tunes. This a local Irish-American band, but on at least one web site I read before the parade, they were confused with a Celtic rock band. Big difference. Here's the Columbus band and here is the other one. Didn't matter to me. I like them both!

The parade kicked off with a flash mob. You might have seen a flash mob before, but I had only seen them on YouTube before this. So far I haven't found this particular day on YouTube to show you, but it was fun to watch even though I didn't get a real good view.

Even though St. Patrick's Day parades are not traditionally Irish, they are fun and a good way to celebrate whether you're Irish or not.

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