St. Pats Parade Recap

Lets talk about St. Patrick the man. He drove the snakes out of Ireland, right? Wrong! There were never any snakes in Ireland and St. Patrick never drove anything out of anywhere.  Born poor, in 4th century Ireland; he might as well have been born in a grave. In fact, the only worldly possession he had was no snakes. But he turned that into sainthood, a holiday, and our magnificent parade float.  He was just some guy starving in the wilderness, but he found a way to change his luck. He took nothing and turned it into . . . this . . .

That’s a picture of Syracuse’s St. Patrick’s Day parade. The biggest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the country per capita, and a parade so wonderful and so full of public drunkinness that it makes the Rose Bowl parade look like a turds on wheels convention.
This is our second year participating in the St. Patrick’s Day parade. Has it become a tradition yet? Maybe so. I certainly like the idea of Syracuse’s St. Patrick’s Day parade becoming the Turbo Bocce parade of champions. Last year we recreated the parade scene from Ferris Beuller’s Day Off, and if you don’t remember it, you should read last year’s parade recap HERE.

Our job this year was to top it. No easy task, but we were up for it. Actually, credit where it is due: Heather Cleveland was up to the task as she thought up our parade theme. AJ Dougherty was up to the task too; he acquired sponsorship to fund our parade. Jim Whipple was also up to the task; he found us a trailer to use as a float.
Greg Griffo, Jill Griffo, Katharine Liegel, and Chris Bianchi rounded out the parade committee. They all did a lot of work. Usually I take the lead on planning things like this, but I had some family issues to deal with and this group took care of everything. Not only that but they did a fantastic job. I’m very proud.

So what was our parade theme? A simple message, but also a timely and powerful message. “Congratulations Jim Boehiem on 1000 wins.”

What brings us together as a league and a community more than that simple message of support for one of our own (and a subtle F. U. to the NCAA)?

Whether the fates were on our side or one of the parade directors was on our side, somehow we were given the most perfect placement possible. Behind Turbo Bocce supporter Michael John Haegerty (who collaborated with us to plan what is to this day the largest bocce tournament in Syracuse history, read about it HERE) and his pedal powered pub the Big Yellow Fellow.


And in front of the Dig Safely 811 float, run by Turbo Bocce player and Syracuse Olympics gold medal winner (in bocce) Jim Flint.

Surrounded by our friends, and friendly police officers, there was nothing left to do but open a case of beer, and celebrate the career of one Jim Boeheim and the awesomeness of Irish holidays.

There was just one problem. It was cold. Apparently the temperature was only 18 degrees, making it the coldest St. Patrick’s Day parade in history. A big different from our first go around last year when the temperature was 64 degrees, the warmest in history.

Did the cold weather stop us? HELL NO! We bundled up and kicked ass, and frankly I feel sorry for anybody who got scared away from participating in this once a year event by bad weather reports. My advice? Warm clothes and liquor go a long way towards warming you up. Don’t give those weather reports a second glance!

Erin go Burrrrrr! The people who got out, loved it.  I even saw one guy in shorts and a tee shirt!

Here are some pics of our finished product. You deserve them after reading this much! If you were not there, just know that Turbo Bocce was well represented. We had a long stint on the news, and we are included in THIS blog (the author himself told me we were one of his favorite floats!).



The actual St. Patrick’s Day holiday falls on Friday this year. Hope to see many of you out and about! Keep in mind our new home Tipp Hill happens to be Syracuse’s premier St. Patrick’s Day destination.