St. Patrick’s Day in My Wacky World

I love my eccentric little neighborhood. It’s a perfect place for someone with unusual interests like me. I’ve discussed its oddities, peculiarities, history and geography on a number of occasions although they probably mean more to me than to you. I write the Twelve Mile Circle as much to amuse myself as to appeal to an external audience, maybe more. Still, I hope you will forgive the occasional personal tangent.

The Clarendon neighborhood of Arlington County, Virginia held its St. Patrick’s Day parade last night. That statement right there creates the first contradiction: it was the day before St. Patrick’s Day. Actually it was supposed to be the Mardi Gras parade but Snowmageddon ruined those plans. You can see where this is heading.

Sure, the parade had the requisite Irish folk dancers along with a forlorn bagpiper and drummer as one would expect, but it also had this:


Parade Dancers from Bolivia

For in Arlington, it’s not considered unusual for a Bolivian dance troupe to march in a St. Patrick’s Day parade. The potato originated from that part of the world so maybe that’s the connection to Ireland. Does it really matter? It didn’t stop anyone from enjoying themselves.

Nor is it odd to encounter an all-woman roller derby team, a gaggle of drag queens perched upon a convertible, a "green" hybrid taxi, or a repurposed Mardi Gras float hastily covered with cutout shamrocks to match the Irish theme.

The correlations and contradictions of colliding and overlapping demographic swirls simply fascinate me, and they all gathered together for the parade. I have odd tastes and a skewed outlook. I admit it, and you already know it if you’ve read this site for awhile. We had a great time and the kids caught more strings of Mardi Gras St. Patrick (?), "whatever" beads than one could imagine. It was all good.

The Arlington Now website has a lot more photographs. You’ll soon see what I mean.


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