Thursday, March 17, 2011

Kiss me!: Irish Channel Parade

When people think of New Orleans, images of French Creoles and Ragin' Cajuns come to mind. (Not that there are any French creoles left, and there are almost no real cajuns in the big-city) So you might be surprised to learn that New Orleans—like most U.S. port cities—has a HUGE Irish population, numerous and proud enough to put on a heckuva parade every year.

The Irish Channel parade was FOUR WHOLE DAYS after Mardi Gras this year, which happens from time to time. I almost didn't go since I was feeling all paraded-out, but I figured y'all would want pics. I'm glad I went, because I had a blast!

For those of you who don't know about the Irish Channel Parade (which is pretty much everyone not from Louisiana), it combines the fun of Mardi Gras floats and throws with walking clubs trading flowers for kisses. Plus, people throw cabbages and potatoes and carrots—though this year it was like a potato famine, there were none to be found! Maybe they outlawed throwing potatoes, like coconuts, they can do some serious damage! The usual throws like beads and cups were green and shamrocked, of course.
There were flowers...

And pipers...
Brass bands...

And plenty of cabbage!

I won the prize for awesomest throw (my friend Stacy and me):
I later caught a wig to go with it, but I let my husband borrow both since he shaved his beard and head right before Mardi Gras (Stacy's husband Charlie and Jay):
Jay was actually working at the gelateria, but we had to come down and say hello. The parade passing right by the street he works on might have also motivated us to walk down there. ;) He made some special gelato flavors for the parade: Irish Coffee, Guinness, Bailey's, and Jameson, and man, were they good!

He was also selling corned beef sandwiches, which was good because the leftover corned beef went great with all that cabbage!

Hope you've got the luck of the Irish with you today! I've only got a little Irish heritage. I'm mostly Scottish, and as any Scot can tell you, Scottish luck is the exact opposite of Irish luck. ;)

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Krispy said...

I always love your pics, and look at all those beads! :)

I want some of that delicious gelato. I always love coffee-flavored things.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

The Golden Eagle said...

Love the pictures!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Jade said...

Is there ever not a parade there? Will there be a special parade when I come to town?

Theresa Milstein said...

Looks like fun.

Happy St. Patrick's Day to you too!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Bailey's gelato--I think I'd die of pleasure. What fun you have! I baked brown soda bread and am headed to a friend's for corned-beef dinner and Guinness. Yum.

Tere Kirkland said...

Thanks, y'all, it was a fun day. I love the Irish Channel parade more than Mardi Gras sometimes (probably because it's so much less crowded with tourists). If anyone is ever visiting NOLA around St. Paddy's Day, you should definitely try to check it out.

Krispy, you would love the cappuccino gelato Jay makes, it is so good. My all time favorite is Chocolate Gorgonzola, YUM!

Jade, sadly, I don't think there is a parade planned for when you're in town, but that doesn't mean anything. Impromptu second lines start up (mostly in the quarter, even though you're supposed to have a permit for a parade) all the time. There's also the occasional Jazz Funeral to look forward to. ;)

Tricia, that sounds so good! I hope you enjoyed it. Hubby is the cook (and the baker, and the butcher, and the gelato maker, lol) in our family.

Wish you all could've seen the French Quarter this morning. It was such a mess!

Angie Ledbetter said...

Hope the weather was just as gorgeous in NOLA as it was in Red Stick!

Sarah Allen said...

Ah! Looks like a blast :) Fantastic pictures.

Sarah Allen
(my creative writing blog)

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Oh my word, they throw potatoes??? Ha! That's awesome. Although, maybe it's a good thing if they really did outlaw it. Can you imagine getting socked in the head with one of those? Yikes! Great pictures, Tere! Looks like you had a blast!