The Raleigh St. Patrick’s Day Parade is an annual springtime tradition and one we hold near and dear to our hearts. We’ve participated, we’ve supported and we’ve always wondered – what exactly does this have to do with St. Patrick? Not to ask too many questions and not to disparage the parade at all but we had sombrero wearing cowboys, a German band, a curling group, Hare Krishna and even the famed Helping Hand Mission Band. Some green was worn but mostly St. Patrick themes were missing.

I’m not saying being Irish should be a requirement to be in the parade. I just think you need to bring a little spirit of Ireland into your parade entry. Or maybe it is time to drop St. Patrick and have the Spring Day Parade. This parade is already a reflection of the cultural diversity of Raleigh – maybe that would be a better celebration and one that even more people could get behind and support. As is it seems St. Patrick is a convenient excuse for a parade and a party.

The challenge for the parade committee is to embrace what the parade has become and move to make it something new or push entrants to take on the theme of St. Patrick’s Day. The parade much like the city continues to grow and diversify and maybe when it isn’t what it was intended to be we should quit acting like it is something it is not. All that being said I will continue to support the parade and may even return one day with an Irish-themed float of my own – hopefully it won’t be the only one.