2013-03-08 / Letters

Parade Felt Like Home

Dear Editor,

This week gave me my first taste of the Rockaway St. Patrick’s day (or Paddy’s day as we say in Ireland) celebrations and can report nothing but a great experience - one I did not expect to find away from the Emerald Isle. The endless sea of green on the streets, marching bands, aran sweaters, and all the fun with patriotic Irish descendants gave off a real sense of pride, national heritage and personally a little taste of home. While I encouraged Rockaway locals to participate in a real Irish breakfast (cornflakes with beer) I quickly found out that locals could drink just as much, if not more than us! The parade itself would be a match for any local parade in Ireland. I was surprised at how well organized and conducted the parade was. To find so many taking part and joining in the celebrations was a real surprise. Local reaction to the Irish accent on the day was a pleasant one to say the least. Generous offerings from locals of food, beer, shots of Jameson and even places to stay was appreciated by all of us. The welcoming spirit of the community was truly unbelievable considering all that has gone on in recent months.

The day was topped off by a trip to the local Irish Circle bar. We arrived in time before the swarms of thirsty locals arrived. It was like Saint Patrick himself invited everyone as room to breathe was the order of the day. Bar tenders shaking your hand every time you order a beer based on the accent was a new experience. One in which I could bring all over the world! As the night progressed it was hard to determine what was dancing and what was friendly brawling. All in all, a great night and a thank you to the Circle for providing it. Pickles and Pies provided the post drinking session cure, which I’m told is the place to eat late at night.

The walk home was a bit of a blur but the hangover was not. A big thank you to everyone in Rockaway who made an Irish visitor proud and welcomed. It will be a weekend that I will never forget.

COLIN MURPHY

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