WHILE Gympie celebrates St Patrick’s Day today with green beer and all things Irish, I will be thinking back exactly 12 months, to when I got a taste of the real thing.
The biggest memory I have of St Patrick’s Day 2009 is the sea of green lining the streets of Dublin.
There would have been more than 10,000 people in the city’s heart waiting for the famous St Patrick’s Day Parade.
Most of those people were tourists all adorned with funny green hats, green cloths and even green skin.
The parade itself was quite unusual.
There were many different street performers, pipe bands, weird floats and dancers.
The parade started at midday and to get a good viewing position you had to arrive early.
We got to our spots by about 11am and we were still about five or six rows back from the front.
The parade lasted for about an hour and at its conclusion everyone moved in all different directions to find a cosy Irish bar to down a few Guinness.
I was never a Guinness drinker in Australia, but there is something special about this drink in Ireland on St Paddy’s Day.
We made our way through a few different bars that afternoon. Some were very quaint, tiny places down side streets where locals told their stories. Others were big, open and lively places. Everywhere had its own party atmosphere and no shortage of people with pints in their hands.
One thing that was very impressive was that even with a lot of drinking going on, we did not see any violence or too crazy behaviour – maybe we were lucky? I will never forget March 17, 2009.