St Patrick's Day Parade in Syracuse 3/15/08
Tomorrow is the St Patrick's day parade and celebration downtown so I'm just going to repost a blog from the past to let you know how the day goes. Looking at the forecast it looks like maybe a decent day with a hit or miss shower. I'm liking the fact that the winds don't seem to be an issue this season year like they have been in the past. Anyways here is pretty much how our day will go tomorrow and maybe I'll bump into some of you downtown.
Tips and Tales of St Patty's Day in Downtown Syracuse
St Patrick's Day Weekend is here in Syracuse. Unfortunately only one of the few times I get to get out and enjoy Downtown Syracuse. A bunch of us every year, about 20 or more of us which is a mix of men and women normally hit a local soda pop bar early in the day. OK day meaning morning what can I say? Yes in the morning and don't be coming to any conclusions. It's only once a year we do this. Anyways family and friends come to town just for this day downtown. From Virginia, Poughkeepsie, Boston and so on. St Patty's Day downtown is so much fun that people come from all over the country for it.
Here is how the whole day plays out or should I say is suppose to play out. It hardly ever goes as planned which makes it even more fun. We normally start out at the Park Hill Tavern in East Syracuse where we get dropped off by our designated driver for the day. Normally one of our kids who BTW get paid well for for driving us but it is well worth it. Don't drink pop and drive. We catch the bus from the Park Hill to the city. So far in the 15 years give or take that we have been doing this I don't think we have ever caught the bus we intended to. Either all of us aren't there yet or we weren't watching for the bus and we miss the one intended. Once we even got on the wrong bus and ended up in NYC. Well not NYC but definitely the wrong bus that had a lot of detours on the way. It would of been faster walking there that year.
Finally we end up downtown for the Parade. Once we were even fortunate enough to see the parade. That was only because when we got off the bus the parade happened to be right there. Don't get me wrong, we do see the parade it's just that we watch it from inside the fine city bars that are heated and by the way are always packed when we arrive there. I just wanted to point out that we are not the only ones that start out early in the morning on St Patty's Day . One thing we do before we start is we each pitch in 20 bucks a person and elect two people to be in charge of buying the drinks all day. The bars are crowded so it would be foolish for 20 + people to go in together and stand at the bar, or should I say attempt to stand at the bar. Another note is that the first 20.00 we pitch in won't be the last and when I say drinks I'm talking soda pops of course . Tip - One thing I have learned about being elected to the Most important job of the day which is by far buying the drinks is that the first round you buy make sure you order the opposite of what the people wanted. You'll be the bad guy for a little while but it is well worth the shame, the boos and dirty looks of not being able to order a round of drinks correctly when they impeach you from that position and you get out of ordering the drinks for the rest of the day. Trust me, someone else will take over As for being the bad guy, sooner or later someone else will do something stupid to earn the title of bad guy so you'll be off the hook in no time.
Most of the day pretty much consists of freezing our tails off but having a Super time in the process. The way we do St Patty's day is pretty much just bar hop all day and test out all some of the different variety's of brews that are on tap at the bars. I suppose you could say that we aren't there so much as to have fun but let's say we are doing research work on the brews. Maybe this year we will even take notes on our research. I do know that most of the men with us prefer the darker soda pops. Another good tip is to elect a leader to lead your group to the different bars. Someone who actually knows their way around the city of Syracuse. Remember, most of the time it is pretty cold out and for some reason almost always without fail the wind is blowing pretty good. The worse thing is to make a wrong turn and walk for a half a mile or so only to find out you have to go back the other way. For that my Brother in-law normally gets elected and does a fine job most of the time but every now and then he makes a wrong turn. That's normally a good thing for who ever is the bad guy at the time enabling him to pass the title over to my brother in-law for getting us lost. Like I said the "bad guy or gal" gets passed along throughout the day and always has a ton of laughs to go along with it. Jeez, now that I am typing and keep seeing the word elected. I'm starting to see that St Patty's Day is actually a fine example of the democracy in progress with all the elections we have going on. Most of the time the person being elected isn't and to be frank doesn't want to be elected
All in all we hit maybe 5 - 7 bars. We'll normally order appetizers, wings or something at one of the bars early and then end up at Clarks sooner or later for one of their great roast beef sandwiches. If you go to Clarks don't let the lines fool you. They rock at moving the customers along and you have your food in no time. The roast beef is well worth standing in line for. It's truly awesome. I wish I could plug all the bars that we hit but to be honest with you I'm just a follower the whole day hoping I don't get lost or left behind and never really check out the names of the bars we hit. I can only guess that any bar you end up in you'll have a great time. One thing that bothered me a bit last year is that during the day a lot of the bars weren't playing Irish songs. I don't know what was up with that. To the bar owners Please at least play Irish music in the daytime.
The biggest tip I can give is to dress warm. When your ready to leave the house and feel that your dressed up warm enough, go back and grab 3 extra coats. Only then will you be prepared for a great St Patty's day downtown. Then again I think it was a couple of years ago when the temps went up to 60 degrees and here was the Golden Snowball dude carrying a coat and 2 sweatshirts around looking like a fool. I did try the "can you hold this for a second while I do whatever" trick but that only worked for so long. I should of trusted the weatherman that time.
The day downtown or sometimes night downtown (depending on how much research some of us have done) will end with one of us calling our designated drivers to come pick us up. We use to try and catch or call a couple of taxis to get home but that is another story or two in itself. The last time we called for two taxis only one showed up. Being the gentlemen that we are (yes only gentlemen in our group ) we told the ladies to go ahead and we would suffer and wait it out until the next taxi shows up. Well what are the chances of not one of us having a watch on and you all know how time flies. Before we knew it almost a couple of hours went by. Anyways I'm sure you already figured out that the ladies weren't too happy with the men. Something to this day I haven't figured out because we all thought the women would of been impressed with how patient we were waiting for the taxi to arrive. Everyone knows men aren't known to be patient and so what if our patience was being displayed at a hopping bar. That shouldn't even come in to the picture should it That was the end to taxi's being used for the ride back to town.
Summary Finally - Sorry about the rant. I really could of kept going on. To sum it up I always thought St Patrick's day was a great big party downtown. After typing this up I discovered it's actually a democracy process in the works with all the electing we do in our group along with research work. Research on the different brews of beer downtown. The research work by far is the hardest part of the day. Now knowing that it's not the Big Party that I always thought it was I probably won't be able to enjoy it like I have in the past. I'll give it my best shot though
Have a Great Weekend All!