For Buffalo, the St. Patrick's day parade is one of the most talked about and anticipated events of the year. We have a huge percentage of our population from Irish decent. Shout out to my people in South Buffalo who hold the highest percentage of Irish residence. Needless to say, it definitely can get a little crazy and it is a known fact that if you attend this parade, you need to be prepared. Especially if you're planning on drinking. You're in a city that knows how to party and loves any reason to celebrate at a bar. For all my friends attending this year, whether you've been there before or not, here is a list of things you should know.
1. Everybody is Irish for the day.
We do not care who you are and if you're of true Irish background. The great thing about Buffalo is that we just want to know that you're here to have a good time and to celebrate all of the great people who do live in our city with this fantastic heritage.
2. Dress accordingly.
Let me explain Buffalo weather in three words: It's very cold. So tough it out. The forecast could be a high of -3 degrees with estimated snow accumulation of one to three feet and our solution would be to add another layer on. Nothing stops us from celebrating. Oh, and embrace the amount of Leprechaun's you'll see walking the streets.
3. Don't accept jello shots from strangers.
While walking down the street to the parade you will be offered several things: glow sticks, hats, gloves, balloons, light sabers and jello shots. I don't really have anything against jello shots until I see someone throw them up.
4. Green beer hurts the next day.
This one is rather self-explanatory. However, drink as much as your heart desires because it is the only day of the year the beer will be green. And that's just awesome.
5. Have a recovery plan in place.
Chances are you'll be getting home slightly stumbling, mumbling to yourself in an Irish accent. Before you leave the house have comfortable clothes where you can find them. Next to the bed have a water bottle, three aspirin, maybe a box of Depends and an alarm set for when you need to wake up on Monday. You'll thank me for the last one later.
6. Have a designated driver.
Time to talk responsibility. Please do not put you, your friends and the innocent lives of the public in danger. Have a designated driver, and thank that person repeatedly. If you happen to be the designated driver of the day, then God bless your soul. And have some plastic bags stashed somewhere in your car.
7. Don't take pictures after 3 p.m.
I say this for several reasons. The only thing I'll warn is that nothing normal happens after 3 p.m. on the day of the parade. And you don't necessarily want that documented.
8. Be nice to your bartenders.
For those of you who are planning on spending time in a bar make sure you are pleasant to the bartenders. They are working a long day and by the end of it are sick of you drunks. That being said, it's a good idea to order two or three drinks at a time because chances of you flagging a bartender down quickly are slim to none.
9. Public urination is still illegal on the day of the parade.
I don't why some people forget this fact, but I feel it necessary to include. Trying to find a bathroom often becomes an adventure so make sure you take a friend with you.
10. Going to the parade doesn't necessarily mean you will actually see the parade.
This is because there's often so much going on and so much to see. If you've been drinking for a few hours, then you're so wrapped up in the people you're with and bar you're in that you forgot why you were there in the first place. The important thing is you were somewhere in Buffalo as it was happening.
11. It will be a great day.
Now, not everybody goes down there to drink. And there are a lot of families that go to celebrate the day with their children. Despite the negative commentary that is sometimes directed towards Buffalo, this is an event that truly shows why we are the city of good neighbors. So for all of my attendees, have a great time, stay safe and enjoy the beer!