One day a year the Irish get a day of their own, celebrated around the world with many of the World’s Monuments going green for the day as part of an international tourism drive for Ireland.

The whole celebration of Ireland’s patron saint originated in the US by ex-pats, and never ones to turn down a good opportunity or excuse for a party, we’ve jumped on board full hog.

Since 1904 it has been a public holiday, it used to be a dry day (no alcohol sales) but we did away with that in the 70’s. Whilst the stereotypical image of the Irish would be that we’d spend today in the pub or at home drinking I don’t think that this would ever have been nationally the case. It’s probably true that plenty of people in their late teens and twenties, who don’t have either families or work on the 18th might go out on the lash but most don’t.

Up till about 30 years ago you’d probably find a sizeable portion of the population at Mass this morning, these days you’ll probably find more of us in bed, enjoying the lie in. Which is exactly what we did, some how I managed to lie in till 8:30, before depositing the youngest downstairs to have his breakfast with his brother and sister and returned to bed to share breakfast with my wife and relax enjoying the morning.

Eventually at around 10 we got up, all changed and a quick picnic was made for lunch.

There has been a parade in Drogheda since before we’ve lived here, and even before we had kids we would come into see it. Even more so now that we have our own children, we get in early to get a good spot to watch it pass. This year my daughter was not taking part (too much on in the last few weeks for her to make it to rehearsals) so we got to start a little later than normal and to relax.

DSCF3948
Our position was on Fair St.  near the top of the town and on one of the quieter streets where we got a good position above the street.

As always there was a great turn out of people to watch the parade. The other roads tend to be so busy that the kids need to be lifted up so that they can see past people pushing in front of them.

DSCF4059

The parade in Drogheda, doesn’t have any of the big shows and performances which typify the parade in Dublin or other major cities, but it is a chance for some local companies and more importantly local groups to advertise and attract new members.

It’s a true collection of the good and the great of Drogheda life, such as members of the council and their invited guests, one of whom I think is the Turkish Ambassador.

DSCF3965

Drogheda is a town with 2 different brass bands  (the Drogheda Brass Band and the Lourdes Brass Band) who perform every year and provide a great opportunity to the youth of Drogheda to learn to play musical instruments.

DSCF4000 DSCF3967

Drogheda being one of the main coastal towns in Ireland straddling one of the main rivers, the Boyne has alas had a long history of suicide and accidents through drowning. As a result the people of Drogheda have risen to this challenge and every year the 3 rescue groups based in the town show off their equipment during the parade.

The Drogheda Coast Guard.

DSCF3982  DSCF3986

Drogheda River Rescue

DSCF3998

Drogheda Fishermen River Rescue

DSCF4031

There are a few companies who put on a bit of a show.

DSCF4028 DSCF4043 DSCF4004

Integral fitness always try to put on a good show, and this year they tapped into the film all of our kids have been pestering us about, which was very suitable for the day, it was dry but we were…

DSCF4009 DSCF4013 DSCF4014

And of course there was the collection of local groups.

DSCF4063 DSCF4051 DSCF4016 DSCF4041 DSCF3973

Although it went on for around an hour and 20 min everyone had a great time.

DSCF3952 DSCF3959DSCF4022

After the parade, we did as lots of Irish people did and went home to have dinner, which we shared in my wife’s cousin’s house with her family. Of course we had a good traditional Irish meal… Pizza, chicken nuggets and chips (its a tradition in our house now the last 6 years)

I did have one beer, but then I have kids and have to get up in the morning.

Advertisements