Saturday, March 17, 2012

St. Patrick's Day

Ebon in a quiet area before the parade started
Where I live St. Patrick's Day is kind of a big thing. There's a huge parade nearby that draws very big crowds as well as a giant party downtown that, though I've never been to it, is more than a bit infamous. The parade's pretty harmless, though, except for the occasional drunk person, and most of the city and the surrounding area will go. It's usually a family affair, with lots of little kids enjoying the sights and sounds of the parade. Some people bring their dogs. I took Ebon and dragged my significant other along as well. In part of the spirit of things, I dressed Ebon up in a doggie hat I bought a few years ago that was on sale for a couple of bucks and some beads. I saw several dogs that had been dyed green, as well as one dog with a shamrock painted onto its back. Nothing compares to the people, though. While many, including myself, do little more than wear a green shirt, some dye their hair, paint their faces, or dress in green from head to toe. There are tutus and fairy wings, giant hats and feather boas, knee socks and bright orange yarn wigs, just to name a few of the things I saw. It's completely nuts. Part of the insanity is in the number of people that come. The excepted numbers this year are at least ten times the normal population of the city.

The very beginning of the parade
One of the pipe and drum bands. A media stand, cameras and all, was just out of shot to the right.
The parade has some interesting regulars, such as a goat they dye green, dancing shriners, and representatives from countless local organizations. There's also the Budweiser Clydesdales, marching bands, pipe and drum bands from all over the place, and sometimes even groups coming all the way from Ireland. Estimated number of people in the parade this year? 15,000. The parade can be up to four hours long, but we were there for only part of it to be sure we didn't have to deal with the crowds leaving once the parade ended. I've been to it many times before, and now it does get to the point where it can more of a hassle than anything else. Ebon got his picture taken a few times and many people pet him, and I don't even know how many times I heard "Your dog is so cute!" or "Look! That dog's in a hat!" He loved the attention. I'm also super proud of him because he was very well behaved despite the noise and the countless people that were jostling him when they walked by.

Unfortunately, when the first picture in this post was taken we were close to a doorway where a woman with a pair of aggressive bichon frise appeared. Of course, she had them on flexi leads and one of the dogs pulled free and went after Ebon. I don't know what's up with small dogs hating Ebon so much. Lucky my boy is so gentle and did little more than move his leg away and look at me in confusion. The woman didn't even apologize and I don't even know if she realizes how dangerous that little dog's behavior could be if it went after a dog that didn't have Ebon's temperament.

Ebon in his greens
I wish I had taken a picture of the protesters. There are always protestors that walk around with signs, yelling at the top of their lungs about the celebration being a sin. I don't know why they do it at the parade rather than downtown. But again, I never go to the big party so perhaps they do.


  1. On behalf of small dogs, we apologize for the ones who try to attack larger dogs. The behavior of humans who let this happen is terrible. We wish we could enlighten them.

    1. It is horribly frustrating. I've met many sweet little dogs, it's true, and Ebon has had some small breed friends. Unfortunately, though, it seems like this sort of situation is all too frequent. It's worst when there isn't a lot of room and the owner of the other dog doesn't have the dog under control at all. The only time I've ever actually verbally expressed my frustration was in just such a situation.