Santa Barbara’s First Ever St. Patrick’s Day Parade

With Bagpiping and Drumming Support, The Independent Marches State Street

The Indy's editor-in-chief Marianne Partridge gets the staff motivated for the St. Patrick's Day Parade, with the help of a bagpiper and drummer.
Matt Kettmann

The second annual St. Patrick’s Day State Street Stroll will be occurring this afternoon, Tuesday, March 17, 2009, starting sometime after 5 p.m.

The snake-scaring spirit of St. Patrick caught up with the staff of The Independent on the afternoon of Monday, March 17, as we embarked on what we’re calling “Santa Barbara’s First Ever St. Paddy’s Day Parade.” The parade, which traveled from The Indy‘s offices on West Figueroa down State Street all the way to Ortega, was motivated by editor-in-chief Marianne Partridge, who began beating the parade drum weeks ago. Much of the staff laughed it off as a fantastic wish, but last week, an email went out, and the troops began rallying.

Come closing time on Monday, the paper’s parking lot became a staging area for various ales, stouts, and whiskies. Most surprising to all was the addition of bagpiper Tom Strelich and drummer Alison Strelich, enlisted by longtime Indy arts writer D.J. Palladino. The piper and drummer led the parade down the street starting at about 5:45 p.m.

Along the way, the crowd of 40 or so staffers and friends got lots of applause, some loud honks, and plenty of confused looks. Due to our costumery, most onlookers understood our intentions, and some even joined along. Once at Ortega Street – and seeing the swelling crowd at Dargan’s – the parade did a victory loop through De la Guerra Plaza and then came to a close.

As the staff went their merry ways onto other St. Patrick’s Day revelry, Santa Barbara’s First Ever St. Paddy’s Day Parade was declared a success. Plans are already being laid for next year.


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.