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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Looking for a great place to celebrate the holiday. Well, You have probably waited too late to get a room at the second largest St. Patrick's Day Parade in the United States. Living in Georgia and being of Irish decent, I am well aware The St. Patrick's Day celebration in Savannah, Georgia is the city's largest annual celebration and the second largest St. Patrick's Day event in the United States. It is compared by some to a Mardi Gras celebration. The St. Paddy's Day festivities in Savannah go on for several days, attracting roughly 500,000 visitors both of Irish and honorary Irish decent each year in addition to locals. The comparison to Mardi Gras ends when it comes to displays of public nudity, however, which in Savannah will "get you arrested."

Many believe this celebration stems from the city's Irish Catholic roots. However, there really wasn't a large Catholic community to speak of in 1824 when a Protestant group known as the Hibernian Society held the first parade. Their mission was to celebrate Irish culture to raise money for poor immigrants. By the mid-1800s, many of the immigrants fleeing the Great Famine in Ireland settled in Savannah where they found work in the ports. By 1860, the Irish community made up 22 percent of Savannah's white population.

It has been several years since I have attended the parade but it is well worth the trip to the coast. But wherever you celebrate this St. Patrick's Day be sure to check out this video on How to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day Like an Irishman where you can commemorate St. Paddy's Day like they do in the old country.

I leave you with a clip of Monday night's concert at the Cathedral by Carrigbyrne Pike Choir.

Please read my poem, Irish Old Man, on Oldman's Poetry Corner.

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