Healthy Living Magazine

Marching into Spring

By Lynnbraz @wandering_lotus
Marching into SpringSt. Patrick's Parade Day arrives this Saturday (March 10th) in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Due to its deep seated Irish roots, Scranton celebrates St. Patty's Day in a big, big, big, beer-riddled way.

US News & World Report Travel hails Scranton's St. Patrick's Parade as one of the best in the county. It's also one of the largest parades in the US, with over 12,000 participants who march—and stagger—through the streets of downtown Scranton. The parade draws over 150,000 spectators and struts by many of Scranton's most significant buildings, including several Art Deco architectural gems. Parade Day is to Scranton what Mardi Gras is to New Orleans.

I loathe St. Patrick's Day. It started in childhood with jealousy and feelings of inadequacy over my non-Irish melange of ethnicities, none of which have ever been afforded their own US parade. None of which enjoy the camaraderie and joviality typically associated with the Irish. But my envy went far beyond ethnic popularity. I wished for delicate Irish features, fair skin, adorable freckles (this was back before anyone even heard of "sun damage") and blue or green eyes. All the prettiest girls were Irish. All the best dancers in my childhood ballet classes were Irish. Everyone who was having any fun at all was Irish.
Today when I think of ethnicity I ponder how every last wave of immigrants to reach the US becomes the outcast. At one time it was the Irish, Italian, Polish who successively became derided and discriminated against as they migrated for jobs in coal mines (in places like Scranton) and factories (Detroit). In my adulthood, I've witnessed these prejudices against Hispanics and Asians and African Americans, whose roots date back to the beginning of this country, whose ancestors helped build this country.
Today St. Patrick's day is a harbinger of spring. Mid-March, the winter that never was is over. I'm getting out of town this weekend to celebrate. And also to avoid 150,000 drunken, green-clad rowdies taking over my town.
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