Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I Love a St. Pat's Day Parade!

Hanging out with one of the St. Pat's Day Parade Pipers in front of Connolly's Station Pub

With winter weather still looming it was really great to finally get out and enjoy some sunshine at one of the first outdoor events of the season, the St. Patrick's Day Parade. The best and biggest is on 5th Avenue in New York City so by all means if you can go...GO!

What to Bring
These open air happenings allow the community to come together and you may find one going on locally in a nearby town or county. Pack a folding chair such as one used for camping that folds up and fits in a sleeve for carrying. Many parades are two or more hours long and seldom start on time. Also bring a canteen or stainless steel water bottle with plenty of water and a few munchy snacks like nuts, granola bars or pretzels. Prices for such simple things as these are incredibly high at the vendor's stands so it pays to bring your own. Bring along the Essential Wrap from ExOfficio as shown draped over my shoulders above to keep warm while sitting and a hat with a pair of good Ray-Ban sunglasses.

Driving to a parade destination may seem like the cheaper and most efficient way of getting there. However, many other people are likely doing the same so there may be a great shortage of available parking spaces available. You don't want to have to walk blocks or even a few towns over to get to the parade route. Check out the possibility of coming in by rail or bus. Weekend tickets are often discounted as "off-peak" rates apply. Buy a round trip ticket and you won't need to miss your connection home because you were busy trying purchase a return ticket. Also purchasing a ticket from the machine will often save you the extra surcharge levied when purchased from the conductor. Keep all tickets in a safe spot and note your transfers, if any. If you are worried about missing your connection home, set your cell phone alarm to sound in enough time to leave. When you factor in traffic, gas, tolls and parking fees, you may find that mass transit is the way to go. Works for me! Photo: Taking the train in comfort and style to the St. Patrick's Day parade route.

Plan Your Day
I can't stress enough how important it is to leave early! You'll want to get there at least a full hour before the parade begins, perhaps much earlier for the larger cities. Have all of your travel schedules made out the day before and check for any delays before leaving the house. If the parade or event has a Facebook page, check that for additional information on the locations of bathroom facilities, water and possible places to eat after the parade. You may even arrange to meet someone from your town or area who will also be attending. When the day is done, you could have some pleasant company to travel home with.

Check your state community calendar or office on tourism for all postings of upcoming weekend events. Most parades and festivals are FREE and a great way to enjoy some wholesome outdoor entertainment and fresh air.




WHAT: Ice skaters will do a traditional Irish Riverdance-style step dance to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, as part of their free-to-the-public program at The Rink at Rockefeller Center. The program will conclude with a finale to the perennial, Irish musical favorite, St. Patrick's Day Parade.

WHO: All skaters are part of the Ice Theatre of New York

WHEN: Wednesday, March 17th--St. Patrick's Day, 1:00-1:30 PM

WHERE: The Rink at Rockefeller Center--5th Ave. (between 49th & 50th Streets)

CONTACT: Tanja Yokum: tanja@teuwen.com Office Phone: (212) 244-0622

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