Tuesday, March 16, 2010

you say st. paddy, i say st. patty

according to the irish, st. patrick's day is shortened by saying "st. paddy's day." i, of course, have been wrong for as long as i can remember by calling it "st. patty's day." my sincere apologies for the misuse of letters but my deepest gratitude for one of the greatest reasons to be merry in the name of drafts and spirits. not trying to deter from the origin of the holiday itself, which reaches far back near the fifth century. story goes...a young patrick was held captive by irish raiders, soon escaping away after having a dream to devote his life to the church and then later on becoming a bishop. he returned to ireland reversing aristocracy, providing for the poor and telling the story of the holy trinity with a shamrock. it's safe to say saint patrick was a deserving title.

soon followed a tradition celebrating his worthy efforts and most importantly, the people of ireland and their culture. the annual st. patrick's day parade held in delray beach brings together crowds from all over south florida waiting to watch a very green parade and a chance to swig their saturday away. all days before the holiday itself.

the event was pretty much up there for my "people watching" standards. i saw things that didn't make much sense which ultimately added to the overall entertainment value. for instance, a stanley steemer van drove by in the parade. i ask myself, is the stanley himself irish? another highlight was a group of cowgirls line dancing. did the irish start the infamous country shuffle? let's assume yes for both unwieldy sights.

it was truly a spectacle. live bands performed, the mayor drove in a tractor, a lot of  old men joyously galavanted in kilts, one automobile drove by after another automobile, but the most popular walk was made by the dogs. so many dogs that no one else really needed to be in the parade, just dalmations in fire trucks. okay... stanley steemer, too.

my friend erica and i managed to find some vendors selling the usual henna tattoos, artwork and jewelry one usually sees at festivals. we both bought the sweetest rings for only $5 each. it does pain me to say that i wasn't able to seize and conquer any delectable wonders with ingredients such as cabbage, lamb and potatoes. however my dear irish friend, mike (of the mccarthy clan) had a plate of loaded french fries topped with sour cream, cheddar cheese and bacon bits. is this a traditional irish concoction? who knows. you say potato, i say i really don't care... i'll see you next year.