Star of the Parish Down

Celebrating all things Irish, NOLA-style

Why does Irish Spring soap smell so strongly, even when it is dry and still in the package? This is just one of life’s mysteries you can address when visiting New Orleans during St. Patrick’s Day. There’s no need to ship up to Boston even though the Irish Channel Parade may be past. There are still plenty of festivities to keep you busy with whiskey in the jar this weekend.

Have a bit o’ craic. There’s no need to turn nine times around on the Irish Rover. Stay in NOLA and you will experience some of the strangest St. Pat’s traditions in the U.S. Handing out cabbage and carrots, wearing o’ the green on painted faces, and of course including brass bands in parades all combine for a particularly New Orleanian interpretation of the holiday.

Being that March 17 falls on a Friday this year, the man who invented beer, beer, beer would be a rich man indeed because people will be making a weekend out of the festivities. Anticipate many bartenders telling patrons “you’re drunk, you’re drunk, you silly old fool.” Remember: Beware too much whiskey-Bailey’s-Guinness or you might feel like it’s the worst day since yesterday.

Start your day in the morning at Irish Channel St. Patrick’s Day Block Party at 10:00 a.m. Located at Annunciation Square on the 1500 block of Chippewa Street, food and beverages available for purchase help benefit St. Michael’s Special School.

Enjoy the day in moderation and before you feel like telling the bartender “it's no, nay, never; no, nay, never no more,” walk, take the bus or grab a cab downtown. There you’ll have your choice of multiple neighborhood parades starting at 6:00 p.m. The French Quarter has Molly’s at the Market & Jim Monaghan’s Parade rolling from 1107 Decatur Street and the Bywater features the Downtown Irish Club Parade starting at the corner of Burgundy and Piety. I think starting a parade on Piety will definitely help you prevent whiskey from leading you astray.

Speaking of piety, for Catholics visiting NOLA this weekend, fear not. You will not fall from grace with God if you eat red meat on St. Patrick’s Day Friday. New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond has joined with other U.S. bishops and has granted special dispensation for breaking the Lenten fast.

Bishop Aymond sent a statement to priests in the local parish that said, “If a Catholic residing in the Archdiocese of New Orleans wishes to participate in St. Patrick's Day activities and desires to eat meat, they may be dispensed and choose another day of the week for abstinence or may choose to perform an act of penance that is a greater sacrifice."

Any time you want to count out some money that makes a pretty penny, feel free to put it in your pocket and bring it home to Jenny. Just make sure no one puts you on the Mississippi River in a longboat until you’re sober. So when you must away and can longer tarry, be guided without a stumble into the arms you love most.


Note: All lyrics referenced or indirectly quoted are for the reader’s amusement, not for the writer’s glory. In other words, all copyrights are reserved for lyrics in this post.



Categories: Tourism Biz