By Kim Smelter| New Girl in NOLA
You thought you had put away your Mardi Gras beads for the season. Au contraire, my newly NOLA transplanted friends. Get your arms and dance moves ready, because this Saturday it’s time you bring out the big guns to catch some ridiculously large throws at the 66th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade marching down the Irish Channel.
Cabbages and Irish Spring Soap will be thrown at your head, you’ll receive a LOT of wet kisses from sweaty old Irish men and the smell of crawfish boils will take over the streets. Are you ready to catch me lucky charms?
St. Patrick’s Day parade tips from the New Girl in NOLA:
1) Parking: Last year we almost got into several fights trying to find parking in the Irish Channel. Hint: If you see a trashcan in the street –DO NOT MOVE IT. It’s not garbage day, and trust me, you don’t want to mess with Oscar the Grouch coming to scream at you about their apparent “space.” I would recommend getting to the neighborhood early, and going to do my next thing…
2) Eat: If you don’t have plans to attend a crawdaddy berl (the proper New Orleans way to say “crawfish boil”), you need to grub up. Grab a bagel or a sandwich at Stein’s Deli or Artz Bagelz (both located near the route) so you have some energy and sustenance for all that green beer and Jameson.
3) Waiting: I say to grub up because unless you are at the start of the parade (corner of Felicity and Magazine St. – departing at 1 p.m.) and grab a spot along Magazine between Jackson and Washington (which I highly recommend because there is plenty of space), you will be waiting for HOURS. The parade route:
It is such a short route, but it will take an absurdly long time to get through. It’s clear from the aim of the cabbage throwers and the breath of the flower givers that the spectators aren’t the only ones having a good time- if you know what I’m sayin 😉
4) After Party: Just walking down Magazine after the parade was over was one of my favorite moments in New Orleans. It looked like a tornado full of glitter went through a refugee camp, in the best way possible. Pop-up bands were playing on porches, Rihanna was blasting from Rum House and a massive dance party emerged.
No city throws a party better than New Orleans, but when the Irish throw a party in New Orleans…well, we got ourselves one hell of a hangover. Cheers!
Kim Smelter moved to New Orleans in 2011 from New York City. She regularly blogs at NewGirlinNOLA.wordpress.com.