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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Luck O' the Chi-rish!

St. Paddy's Day Celebration to Chicago is like Macy's Thanksgiving Day Celebration to New York. It's BIG. I mean, you can't help but notice it and well, want to participate. I have grown more and more fond of the all green stuff after observing this annual holiday year after year in Chicago.

You may be wondering, "what's the big deal?" or "my city celebrates too, she's probably overreacting". Well folks, I am not. You see, Chicago has an abnormally high ratio of Irish Catholics and an abnormally large population of young professionals (and those not so professionals) who love to drink. It's pretty much a double doozie (and i'm not talking Field's cookies)!

This year celebrations started March 14th, well before the BIG day. I alone was invited to 4
different events in honor of this day. This day started early for me.

8 a.m. - First Party: Green Pancakes, Lucky Charms, Guinness, Mimosas, Egg Casserole, Irish Soda
Bread, Indoor Game of Cornhole (bags), and visiting with friends who are all decked out in green flare.

10 a.m. - Skip 1st St.Paddy's/Birthday Party

10:45 a.m. - The Chicago River is died NEON GREEN (quite the tourist event...been there done that...skipped it).

12:00 p.m. - The downtown St. Paddy's Day Parade (I've never quite made it
to this, but it's something i think i can live without).

12:30 p.m. - Leave 1st party and head to neighborhood bar to watch the Ohio State vs. Mich State Big 10 Tournament Game with friends. It was impossible to distinguish if everyone packed in the bar was rooting for Mich. State or if the sea of green was St. Paddy's Flare. (I'm thinking flare).


3:45 p.m. - Head to Uberstein's (yes, it's German) for a surprise
birthday/St. Paddy's celebration for my roomate, Britt. 30 of our nearest and dearest show up, there's a line, tons of intoxicated people, good music, green beer, brats, clover cookies, and more green flare!

9:00 p.m. - 12 hours strong and I am wiped. Hit a wall. So, in good
ol' Irish spirit, I hit up the pizza joint across the street for some Italian fare. At this point i realize that practically everyone has been at it all day and most are faring worse than I. The fellow patrons at the pizza place were hilariously drunk and people were sleeping standing up, being rude and looking ridiculous in all that GREEN.

10:00 p.m. - In bed, lights out. It was a looooong day.

Sunday A.M. - South side gets their Green on and parade #2 takes place. People are crazy (that's
where lots of the ''real Irish" live) - I don't go near there!

Fast Forward 3 Days: Here we are...celebrating again. Except it's actually Tuesday, March 17th, and actually St. Paddy's Day. However, being a weekday, it's remarkably more calm (even in the 70
degree weather). I of course, don my green again. I'm beginning to get attached to my flare - a green carnation pinned on my jacket, my shamrock headband, "kiss me I'm Chi-rish" button and green top. It's gonna be a good day.

9:00 a.m. - Arrive at work where a number of people are wearing green, but flare is few and far between.

12:00 p.m. - Head out for lunch at Elephant and Castle, an Irish Pub. Get several funny looks and stares along the way because of my shamrock headband (i really think they were jealous). Show up to the restaurant for a nice meal. Lots of other green folks here too.


1:00 p.m. - Finish up lunch and notice a crew of bagpipe players exiting a van and am bummed i'm not out there to stalk them. But wait...are they...no way...they proceed to walk right into the restaurant I'm in and begin to play and parade through the restaurant like they owned the place! I was shocked, delighted and flat out giddy! What a perfect way to celebrate SPD! Oh, the luck of the Chi-rish!!!

I must admit that this blessed Chicago holiday has almost come to an end. Not quite ready to put away my flare and release my excuse for dressing ridiculous and being giddy.

But at the end of the day, if I can't be Irish...I guess being Chi-rish is the next best thing!


1 comment:

pocket full of pink said...

Super fun post, love!! So glad you had a great time!