It be nearly March 17, mateys, and that means celebratin’ the Irish on Saint Patrick’s Day. Although the holiday began as a way for the Irish in America to celebrate their heritage, today it be a party for everyone, even those without an ounce o’ Irish blood in them. Now as a pirate, I prefer my spirits to be Nelson’s folly, but on this day I make an exception. A nipperkin o’ Jameson it be.
New York City’s Saint Patrick’s Day Parade be one o’ the most iconic Irish celebrations. The parade be America’s oldest Irish tradition beginnin’ March 17, 1762 when a group Irish were stationed in the American colonies while servin’ with the British Army. The lads were homesick, so they decided to put on a little celebration. Back home in Ireland, any display o’ Irish pride be banned, so the first parade be a time for speakin’ Irish, wearin’ green, singin’ Irish songs, and drinkin’ Irish spirits.
The parade honors the Patron Saint o’ Ireland and the Archdiocese o’ New York and was originally held in Lower Manhattan. When Saint Patrick’s Cathedral was relocated to Fifth Avenue, the parade route also moved.
Today, the parade be the largest in the world with about 150,000 marchers. It holds true to its roots, not allowin’ floats, automobiles, or commercial displays. Instead the parade includes high school bands, bagpipes, politicians and people just wantin’ to celebrate bein’ Irish. In addition to the 150,000 marchers, about 2 million people line the streets o’ New York City to watch the 1.5 mile long parade. Blimey, that’s a lot o’ people.
In 2002 the parade be dedicated to the “Heroes of 9/11” and was the largest parade to date with 300,000 marchers and three million spectators. At noon, the entire parade turned to face the “Twin Towers” and paused for two minutes.
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