Come Out and Play on St. Paddy’s Day

Do you know what one of the best things about Baton Rouge is? A few weeks after Mardi Gras, when things get back into a routine, there comes this unexpected new celebration: St. Patrick’s Day.

Last March was our first spring in Baton Rouge, and some friends invited us to join them and watch the St. Patrick’s Day parade. My husband was also invited to be in the parade, which he was excited about. We got everything he needed to be in the parade ahead of time, including all his bright green throws. Then on the morning of the parade, I loaded the boys up and we headed out to watch the festivities. My first clue that this was going to be the biggest St. Patrick’s Day parade I’ve ever seen, is when a huge truck (float) drove by us at 8am to get in their spot. It was full of riders in full celebration mode at a time when I am usually still in my p.j.’s on a Saturday morning. 

“Wow!” My ten year old said. “They are really excited to ride in the parade.” 

“Yes, yes they are,” I replied, as the sounds of the riders’ rallying cries gradually faded in the distance. “Let’s go drive to our spot to watch the parade.”

We had a great time visiting and eating with friends and getting our chairs set out before the parade started. The sidewalks started filling up quickly. We had a couple of strands of green beads from my husbands parade throws, and we were ready for some fun. I figured we would catch a few beads, visit with our friends some more, then head home.

Oh. my. word. I just had no idea! This parade lasted a complete, solid 2 hours non-stop, with my boys getting all kinds of great loot, from teddy bears to toy instruments. The floats were fantastic, and we had so much fun! In the states where I grew up, the extent of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day involved wearing something green. So this was quite a new level. I mentioned this to some of  our friends as the parade went by. 

“I had no idea this parade was such a big deal!.”

“We have lots of Mardi Gras parades in Baton Rouge,” they said, “but there’s only one St. Patrick’s Day parade. So it’s huge.”

If you haven’t been to the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Baton Rouge before, give it a try! It may become one of your favorite family annual spring events in Baton Rouge. And if you are a parade regular, get ready for some more fun on March 17, 2018!


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