Did you know Rolla boasts the third largest St. Patrick's Day Parade in the state of Missouri? You didn't? Don't feel bad, neither did I, until this year! The local university has been holding St. Patrick's Day celebrations for 101 years! This is big stuff around here. The high school marching band participated in the parade and so I dropped Trent off and took Sadie and Garrett to watch the parade.
This is Sadie before the parade. She ran into some friends. I got a big kick out of seeing them all together - they would recognize someone and yell and scream and wave. Then they would hug and stand all together chatting excitedly.
Here are some pictures from the parade. The parade was really quite good and lasted over an hour and a half!
No St. Patrick's Day Parade would be complete without a Bagpipe Band.
Or St. Patrick himself!
This band was really neat - not one single instrument! They just had drum sticks and used buckets, a bike rack, shopping cart and trash cans to make music.
There were many bands - from the big to the small. Sadie and I really liked this guy's hat and sang along to the music.
I wasn't sure what to make of these at first. There were a lot of guys carrying what basically were long tree stumps throughout the parade and also these painted ones. After we came home, I looked up on the local website (yes, they take it that seriously around here!) and these are cudgels. Part of the celebrations involve a cudgel carry - basically, they carry these big stumps on their shoulders and race each other. Some of them were HUGE!
The girls here are carrying shillelaghs. This is also part of the university's celebrations. The students whittle their own shillelaghs and they have a snake driving activity.
I have a soft spot for fire trucks (Happy Birthday Ben!!)
I also have a soft spot for the Air Force too. (Shout out to Josh!)
No Marine Corps. (Sorry dad!)
Though, despite all the funny cars, the clowns, St. Patrick, the awesome bands and so many other neat and fun floats - what we really came to see was this:
Unfortunately, I was on the opposite side from Trent. He really is in there! See if you can spot him. He's directly center of the picture and in the row behind; you can see his profile between the kid with the xylophone and the kid with the sax. The only other picture I got of him was the back of his hat - they moved by us pretty quickly.
Sadie, Garrett and I really enjoyed the parade. The weather was perfect and I got some pretty good pictures of it all. These are just a tiny portion of all I took.
Last but not least - since most of my pictures from the parade of him were of the back of his head, here is a picture of Garrett displaying some of his parade spoils.
(As a post script, Jessi has her first "real" babysitting job tonight! She was totally excited; I am a bit melancholic **sniff**)