A couple of times, we went to Hundred Oaks and Acadian to see how Pat Shingleton, WBRZ Chief Meteorologist, gets to orchestrate the event where it all starts. It is amazing to see how he keeps things flowing so well per all kinds of communication tools - the megaphone blow-horn is always at his side. Truly, St. Pat has to be intervening for him as the organized chaos always seems to go off without a hitch!
When we arrived early since parking is at a premium near Hundred Oaks, I would take our youngest boy, JP, in one of those red wagons - which made for a great repository for the beads, doubloons, etc. that the many riding revelers would throw to us. And I it was neat to get an early look at the floats as we strolled by en-route to Acadian.
We usually get more throws from this parade than any other - including the very generous New Orleans Mardi Gras truck groups like Elks and Crescent City. It was not unusual for us to be leaving with 2 or 3 heads of cabbage - more than the one coconut that we finally got once from Zulu.
About seven years ago, we attended the parade near Debbie's house on Perkins where the Parade passes right in front of her house. That was one of the first times I'd had the Green Beer. I never thought I could like a Dixie beer any better than in its original state, but I was wrong!
And it appears that more people actually dress up for St. Patrick's Day than Mardi Gras. I recall seeing more variations of green than I've ever seen before at these gatherings. Many times, I used an old Crusader costume in that color from when I rode on a float with that theme in the NO Freret St. Parade - I had so much fun that I ran out of throws by the time I got to Canal St!
One of the funniest BR St. Patrick Day Parade memories is from about 6 years ago near the old Wal-Mart on Perkins. JP and I were having a great time catching all kinds of things, including many stuffed animals that people couldn't resist throwing him.
As the parade was winding down and there were some participants staggering on their way by, one tall bearded dude with a green cowboy hat was headed in our direction. After giving a green flower to a pretty LSU decked out gal nearby, after which he received a spectacular kiss, he seemed determined to come towards me holding JP.
It should be noted that JP, at that time, had accumulated a huge dose of curly hair, which I had been negligent on having gotten cut. So anyway, this Green capped Cowboy walks up to us with these fancy beads in his hands and proceeded to say: "I've been waiting all during this parade to give these beads to the cutest little girl that I would see here - so here ya go!" - after which he stumbled and almost fell to the ground.
So you can imagine who made a quick visit to the barber shop immediately after that. We all laugh about that now as we look forward to the upcoming Pat Shingleton shuffle!