Daily Foglifter: Savannah’s first St. Patrick’s Day Parade was in 1813, only 80 years after the city was founded by General James Oglethorpe.
Yesterday, while watching the Celtic Cross Mass live from The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Savannah, Georgia, three thoughts went through my mind.
- Sheesh! What a snooze-fest. I’m glad I’m not Catholic.
- What a beautiful cathedral. Must go on the tour one day this summer.
- How many of these solemn, respectable parishioners will be passed out drunk on the cobblestones of River Street by 9:00 tonight?
St. Patrick’s Day is a big deal in Savannah. The whole event is planned by a dedicated group of people and the traditions are charming–the Investiture of the Grand Marshal, the Greening of the Fountain in Forsyth Park, and the breakfast of green grits and eggs. There’s a parade followed by at least 2 days of drinking and general debauchery. It’s a big economical boost for the city and it’s great. It’s also not for me. I have never been one to drink or stay out all night making a drunken spectacle of myself or hanging out with those who do. I could just attend the parade, but the idea of fighting that crowd with five children in tow while trying to avoid those who have already begun consumption of mass quantities of beer/Guinness/jello shots makes me ill. The one event I always want to attend is Tara Feis, but I always forget about it or have something else going on when it is.
So, how did I spend St. Patrick’s Day? At home, with my parents who were visiting from Kentucky and my kids who got off school for two days because it is St. Patrick’s Day. It was the first day of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and my University of Kentucky Wildcats were playing. That game was categorically more important to me than a too-long parade in a too-crowded city. I also traded green garb for the new Big Blue t-shirt my parents brought me.
I did acknowledge St. Patrick’s Day. We had corned beef and cabbage and green mashed potatoes, a Quinney family tradition. I do wish I had bought some Bailey’s Irish Cream for my coffee. That is always a good idea, but especially on St. Patrick’s Day. Oh well.
People celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in a lot of ways. I saw an especially devoted gent at the Kroger dressed as a leprechaun, from the top of his black top hat complete with large buckle, right down to his little pointed shoes. How did you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Did you wear green? Drink a little or a lot of green beer? Eat large amounts of boiled meat and potatoes? Beat up on someone with a shillelagh?
May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
May the rains fall soft upon your fields,
And, until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.