South for St. Patrick’s Day

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The Annual Wearin’ of the Green Parade in Baton Rouge, Louisiana is something to behold if you have never witnessed a Southern Parade. Situated in the historic Hundred Oaks area of the city, it winds through residential neighborhoods with gorgeous hundred-year-old oak trees magnificently landscaping the background of the event. Complete with Irish dignitaries, marching bands, a pipe band, and over seventy decorated rolling units tossing “throws to the crowds,” this parade has upwards of 125,000 loyal fans who attend the event annually.

Young and old come out for the parade from all walks of life. You will see children enjoying it as much as their parents. Many folks add an “O” in front of their name to be Irish for the day and everyone is wearing some shade of green. Many twenty-somethings grew up on parade floats and are now returning as young adults organizing their own Krewes. This rolling party has made it into the history books of Louisiana. And our Irish friends continue to “jump the pond” from Killarney to be a part of the festivities.

In 2008, the date to be in Baton Rouge is Saturday, March 15. The parade will start rolling at 10 a.m. rain or shine according to organizers. In past years when rain tried to spoil the event, parade die-hards flipped their umbrellas upside down and used them to catch more beads. The weather has ranged from a freak snow-dusting the night before the parade one year to the more standard warmer weather most years.

From any hotel you stay in locally, the trip to the parade route off the Interstate at Acadian Thruway will be a short one. If you want to go to the start, turn towards Hundred Oaks where you will see green shamrocks painted all over the street at head of the parade. Area pubs and restaurants will be in full festive mode all day in honor of the 23rd annual parade. Granted a pint of Guiness is not as smooth as it is in the Mother Country, but for the many participants of the Wearin’ of the Green Parade … it shall just have to do.



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