Parade Day

April 1, 2008

Sunday, March 30, 2008, was the 56th annual Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day parade–and the first time I ever participated in it. Holyoke Medical Center always has a large contingency marching and this year it was over 60 people. Everyone who volunteered received a free sweatshirt and umbrella. THANKFULLY the weather cooperated and it was a beautiful sunny day–probably one of the first really nice days we’ve had this year.

I awoke on Sunday morning and quickly got ready to meet up at the hospital. I skipped my morning coffee (who wants to have to go to the bathroom when you’re marching in a parade!) and left the house at 10:15 am. When I arrived at the parking lot, there were two school buses ready to transport everyone over to the KMart shopping plaza where the parade was beginning. I met up with Andrea, Elaine, Ana, and Stacy–coworkers–and got my umbrella and blue ribbon (for cancer). Ana had goodies from Sarah (another coworker who at the same moment we were getting ready to march, was on a cruise ship on vacation!)–Irish hats, bows, necklaces.

Pre-boarding

Elaine, Ana, Andrea, and Stacy pre-boarding

Ana and Andrea

Ana and Andrea–all decked out

Elaine and me

Big smiles from Elaine and me

Stacy getting pretty

Stacy getting some Irish spirit

After arriving at the plaza, it was still early. We all had one goal in mind–find a bathroom! We started at the diner that attaches to the KMart, but the line was long and moving incredibly slowly. So we abandoned ship and headed to the Stop and Shop, hoping for better luck. Nope! There was a long line there too. Stacy and Ana tried to sneak into the men’s room but ran back out after confronting two men doing their business! We finally got to go and then STILL had time to wait.

Paola in the Hat

My coworker Paola–I affectionately titled this picture,

“Paola in the Hat”

Waiting

Peggy, Andrea, me, Cherelyn, Ana, Hilary, Paola and Elaine

The parade officially started at 12:15 pm and I think we started marching around 1:00 pm–thankfully we were towards the beginning of the parade. I heard that there were over 300,000 people (!!!) watching the parade. It was a little crazy–everywhere you looked there were people dressed in green, drinking, singing and shouting.

Marching

Marching!

“Here Come the Irish”

Holyoke Medical Center

Holyoke Medical Center

Tired, thirsty, and hungry...

The End–Tired and Hungry

The parade route was 2.6 miles long and took me through parts of Holyoke that I have never seen, even after living here for six years. During the parade we twirled our umbrellas and did “The Wave” (although most of the time it didn’t look that great since the timing was kind of off–but it was fun doing it!) By the end I was starving and my thumb had developed a callous from twirling so much. We boarded the buses again and ended up back in the hospital parking lot–it was 2:30 pm. I drove home and immediately had a grilled cheese sandwich. Later that night I noticed that I had quite a bit of color on my face from being in the sun all day–it was like I had been to the beach! All in all, it was a fun experience and I’m sure I’ll do it again next year.

  Parade Girl

Parade Girl!

Published in: on April 1, 2008 at 9:04 pm  Comments (1)  
Tags: ,