No Irish need Parade

New York City’s been celebrating St. Paddy’s Day with a parade since 1762. Clan by clan, participants hoof it up 5th Avenue, from 44th all the way to 86th Street. San Francisco’s St. Paddy’s Day parade has been going on for more than 150 years, and this year, for the first time, the city will also host a full day of Irish festivities. Boston’s parade travels through South Boston, the city’s “most Irish neighborhood,” and New Orleans hosts a parade too; participants dress up in green and toss flowers, beads — even cabbages — to the parade watchers. And in Chicago, the annual parade is accompanied by another tradition: dyeing the Chicago River green. Obviously there’s no chance eco-minded Santa Barbara would ever consider dyeing any natural waterway green, but how is it that our city — host to a parade for every occasion — doesn’t join in the Irish-inspired fun? Sure, Santa Barbara may not have the historical concentration of Irish blood that some of those other cities do, but what does that matter? We have a Big Dog parade; there’s Solstice and Fiesta, and the Fourth of July, Halloween, and Christmas parades; So what gives? What about the fair Celts? Are we doomed to confine the celebration of our heritage to the few bars in town that can claim Guinness on tap, and actually pour it properly? What would my ancestors say? On second thought, screw the parade. They’d be at Dargan’s, and so will I.

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