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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