Sunday, March 17, 2013

St. Patrick's Day Parade on the River

The event's details were brief: "The annual St. Patrick's Day River Parade provides everyone on the River Walk an opportunity to enjoy yet another parade." The parade would be a parade of barges along a stretch of the San Antonio River.

So, we headed to the La Villita section of San Antonio for a good seat at the Arneson Theater, an outdoor theater on the banks of the San Antonio River. From our seats, we had a good view of the parade that would pass the stage.

For us, or rather for me, there is no such thing as being too early. Finding our seats at noon assured us of a good view at parade time (3:00).

Fortunately, three other events combined to fill the three-hour block of time before the main event. The first of these was the activity of people-watching.

People who began arriving soon after we did began a parade of people displaying a variety of ways of celebrating the Irish and St. Patrick's Day. The photos in this entry show a portion of this colorful "pre-parade."

A second event centered around the barge in the photo below. This float traveled the 2.5 miles of the river while releasing 110 pounds of environmentally friendly green dye into the San Antonio River. A proclamation decrees temporarily re-naming the river "The River Shannon" as a result of this transformational event.

The dark green streaks behind the barge show the added dye. The fountain near the viewing area was also colored with green dye.

And the third event was, more accurately, a series of three one-hour performances by musicians. The first performer was Robert Doyle (shown on stage two photos above), who sang a number of Irish songs.

Following Doyle was Boru, a seven-member group "specializing in blazing melodies and driving rhythms, songs that are funny, sad, sentimental and rousing (sometimes at the same time). With members from widely diverse musical backgrounds ranging from classical to country and western, bluegrass to Irish and American folk, it's hard to keep our roots from showing."

And the final group of entertainers was Rod, Tom, and Flo. The lively banter of Rod (center) was paired with a number of songs that had the crowd joining in on several of the songs. One of the most popular songs was The Unicorn Song. The start of the chorus goes like this:

There was green alligators and long-necked geese
Some humpty backed camels and some chimpanzees

Flo would demonstrate the behavior of the animals mentioned in the song. Here she is shown demonstrating the mouth of the alligator opening and closing.

With the completion of the Ron, Tom, and Flo set, we were ready for the parade to begin. And as the emcee mentioned, "Today everyone is Irish."

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