I get stupid-happy about St. Patrick’s Day. To me, it’s a day to dress up, remember my upbringing in an Irish-Catholic school, and now it’s become a day to pine for my hometown again. Nevertheless, I ran my reluctant roommate and boyfriend straight into the crowd with me. Homesickness was not going to best me on this fantastic feast day.
According to the Huffington Post, the St. Patrick’s Day parade dates back five decades and has grown to not only feature traditional bagpipes, marching bands, and floats, but politicians as well. At one point, I was handed a sticker saying that I supported “Thompson”. Who the heck is Thompson, I wondered, staring at the little sticker (that I was secretly glad was free because I love free things), I can’t wear this cool sticker unless I find out who he is. Turned out that the great and powerful “Thompson” is somehow in connected with the Chicago water supply. Sure I’ll support you, Thompson. *stick*
So there were several interesting costumes and dress-up ideas that fascinated me. One was a gentleman who had glued bottles to his bald head, which still puzzles me. Here are some other interesting pics:
The parade was what I expected from a typical St. Patty’s parade. Lots of floats, people waving and screaming “HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!”, and the occasional band (I’ve always had a soft spot of bagpipes and would be thrilled to learn how to play them). When the politicians started rolling in, however, I decided that it was time to head towards the river to see how green it really was.
I’ll admit that I thought the pictures of past river-dyeings were somehow doctored. That was just way too green. Radioactive, almost (which would be appropriate, considering what’s in it). And yet, we got there and I was stunned to see that the pictures were VERY true to the color! The dye is apparently environmentally friendly, created to trace pollution in water supplies. It was pretty neat to see, even if we kinda hurried past it in search for reprieve from the sweltering heat.
Was it the throngs of people that made it so uncomfortably hot? The fact that I hadn’t hydrated after the pre-gaming I’d done the previous night (Fact: 13 million pints of Guinness beer are consumed on St. Patrick’s Day)? Or was it just the fact that it was unseasonably warm? I don’t know, but I felt myself going a little faint and craving something iced from Caribou Coffee.
AND WE FOUGHT TO GET TO IT.
The streets, the buses, and the subway were all jam-packed with people. We pushed, shuffled, squeezed, tripped, inched, and slithered our ways to the Red Line where some guy with a green buzzcut nearly fell on top of and squished Renee. Down in the depths of the Lake station, people cheered when the trains of packed cars pulled up.
By the time we got to Caribou, I was fighting off sleepiness, so I chugged a medium-sized iced coffee…
…and fell asleep as soon as I got back to my room.
Overall, the parade was alright. I’ll have to say that the size of the crowd was almost overwhelming and I hated not being able to walk to places very easily what with all the people. But I’ll say it once and I’ll say it again: Chicago knows how to celebrate. The smiles on people’s faces, the diversity of people sporting green, and the fun-filled atmosphere make the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Chicago worth experiencing.
[The night ended on a nice note, with a fun get-together in our apartment watching Robin Williams, having a few drinks, and me getting to practice my tribal-tattooing skills (Mama, I promise it’s only Sharpie marker.)]