Wednesday, April 20, 2011

St. Patrick's Day, Island Style


St. Croix does St. Patrick’s day like no one else, it is literally the biggest Paddy’s Day celebration in the Caribbean. Everyone takes to the streets of Christiansted, on our quaint little tropical island, dressed in green and orange, and ready to party. Cruzans will not ever be accused of not knowing how to party. The parade, which generally falls on the Saturday before the holiday, came around this year on the Saturday after. Cruzans will also probably never be accused of consistency.

For years I worked on parade day, opening my shop despite making little money and dealing with drunk people for most of the day, but back then I was a workaholic, something I have been able to give up temporarily (for the record, lately I find myself feeling like I need to be doing MORE). Then I finally got smart and closed my shop for parade day, and began to join the crazy, drunken masses. A few years back I had a little too much fun the night before the parade and after waking up still drunk, I decided to nap parade day, and my horrid hangover, away. The year my friends Sarah and Clay got married, a wedding planned to coincide with that year’s St. Paddy’s “season”, I had an absolute blast at the parade (and the days that followed)! I vowed never to miss another one if I was on island. Last year I was unable to make it because of work obligations, but this year I made the parade and lots of great memories once again.

The motley crew (minus Biggs, behind the camera).

This year’s parade was a first for Mr. Biggs, so I was excited to experience the whole event with a newbie, plus my girlfriend and her husband were. Decked out in green and starting with beers we grabbed at the gas station on the way into town, we stopped to see a friend who offered us a ride in, so we wouldn’t have to worry about parking, or driving home after a day of island style fun. Then we hit the traditional Bacchus breakfast stop, where we had some food, drink and shots. So it began…

Me and Biggs

Irish car bombs and Jameson shots (and much, much more) followed as we hit the town for a long day of drunken debauchery. It was a great day, and we were home early thanks to starting early. Our ride was unavailable when we were ready to go, so we started stumbling our way towards where we had left our car at his house, and found a ride from another friend along the way (though much further into the trek than I would have liked).

The Cruzan St. Patrick’s Day Parade is one of my favorite island events, one of the many things I love about this place, my home.
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a diamond in the rough

a diamond in the rough
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