Monday, March 22, 2010
Marching In March
We were ready to get out just in time to race back up to Holyoke on Sunday so Kelly and the bloggerette could get their first views of the 'big one': the annual Saint Patrick's Day Parade.
We had to park about a half mile down the road from the parade route and huffed it to the Yankee Pedlar intersection on route 5, where we squeezed ourselves into a small opening we found between the shoulder to shoulder spectators lining the route.
We were just in time as the parade came marching around the corner, horns a-blasting.
The Colleen was in a fantastically colorful float...
And this kid helped churn out the strains of some ancient Celtic ditty.
The music is an acquired taste to be sure.
Classic but more familiar were the tunes coming from the horns of the Hot Tomales, which got some of the spectators grooving.
I'd only managed to get to this parade once before, many years ago, and had forgotten just what a huge event it was. There were so many people that it was impossible to contain them all on the sidewalk, and they overflowed onto the breakdown lanes; milling about and crossing back and forth between the parade groups at will.
Cinderella had her delicate and opulent ride out, delighting the bloggerette who strained to take it all in from her shouldered perch above the fray.
The Sabis Charter School Bull Dogs had sent in their talented crowd-encouragers.
Not that much encouragement was needed. Everyone was in high spirits, and some spectators higher than that. A few unlucky officers strayed too close to this particularly spirited group of revelers, to find public respect and decorum severely tested.
The police (most likely friends of theirs) were finally released and new targets were obtained by the rowdy crew.
The revelers couldn't be blamed; no one was immune from the green tide sweeping through the streets of this ol' Irish town.
A green tide of a different sort had taken hold of this young lady's sense of fashion; who sported a trully eco-friendly design.
The wave of the future? You saw it here first, folks...
Back to the music:
Health care workers brought metaphorical umbrellas...
And the Mummers from Philly provided a professional explosion of color and dazzle.
Their troupe had passed way too soon.
And what's a parade without remembrance? These vets recall battles of the past...
...closely followed by representatives of our present day battles.
And the people who we send to Boston to make choices for us came by: a former republican congressman, or at least as republican as can be attained here in the Deep Blue...
The hero of the North End...
And the man who shocked this Blue State with a dose of Brown.
(sorry Steve Buoniconti, the memory card read full just as you passed by. Respect but unfortunately no pic this time...)
A new card was in the camera just as The Haired One, Ray Hershel shot a wave my way.
I remember seeing Ray on tv back when... well, as long as I can remember watching tv. I'm talking about way back when. Back when there were only three stations to watch, four if you could get the antenna just right. In color if your folks had the money. There's something constant and comforting about seeing that he's still around...
These guys rivaled the Mummers in color, music and pizazz...
The parade was indeed big. We had been there for well over two hours, and still they were marching by and coming down the street as far as could be seen.
But we were out of time, and unfortunately had to make tracks back home.
We'll try and get another look next year...maybe bring some chairs...