Irish Eyes Are Smiling – and Marching – in D.C. This St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick's Day Parade

Color coordinated: “Forget it, Sean. I’m not changing. You go home and change. I had this outfit first.” (smata2 via Flickr)

I’m part Irish, and some say I look fully Irish. Well, on St. Patrick’s Day, everyone seems to be Irish – or wants to be.

The Irish are supposed to be lucky (this has to be a joke, other than maybe U2), and D.C.-area apartment renters are lucky to be able to attend the 42nd Annual Washington D.C. St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 17.

This is our third consecutive time covering the colorful event, which may or may not set a record for the blog. If not, it certainly ties one, since the blog, so dear to my heart, was birthed in the summer of 2010. That it’ll be equaled later this month by the upcoming National Cherry Blossom Festival shouldn’t lessen the feat … if in fact, it is a record.

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Record or not, this annual event should be fun.

The parade’s mission “is to foster the understanding of and celebrate the Irish culture in America.” Helping to foster that understanding this year in his role as Grand Marshal is retired U.S. Navy Admiral and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen.

Also lending some shamrock gravitas is Gael of the Year John Joseph (JJ) Kelly. This Springfield, Va., resident currently serves on the board of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, an organization whose “purpose is to promote Irish culture and foster and perpetuate the history and traditions of the Irish people.”

Can’t get too much more Irish than that.

The site says more than “100 marching bands, military units, dance schools, floats and a variety of other groups and organizations participate” in the parade each year.

From the looks of things, expect horses, fire trucks and a flourishing of the color green as well. And I sure hope that there are some Irish Wolfhounds trotting along the route, too. (The event’s Web copy people are really slow with things this year, but I can’t imagine the parade will feature Beyoncé with her hair dyed green or Lady Gaga with her something, something dyed green, or we would’ve heard about it by now. Though I don’t think Stefani could make it this year even if she chose to, due to her recent hip trouble.)

Here’s a parade primer for those interested.

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The parade starts at noon and proceeds down Constitution Avenue from 7th to 17th Streets, N.W., with the grandstands located between 15th and 16th Streets, right next to the judges reviewing stand.

Grandstand tickets can be purchased for $15. (If purchased prior to March 13, they’ll be mailed to you, if purchased after the 13th, they’ll be held for you at the grandstand entrance booth.) Regular paradegoers will know that both the Federal Triangle (Blue/Orange Line) and the Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter (Green/Yellow Line) Metro stops are nearby. Check the Metro map for a full slate of stations.

This two-hour-long celebration is sponsored by the city, the National Park Service and the generous public.

Come out and show your green.

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Scott D

Scott D

Scott is a local writer and has been with the Apartment Showcase blog since its inception in 2010.

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