Wednesday, March 11, 2015

LaSalle's St. Pat's Parade

This Saturday, downtown LaSalle will be hosting yet another St. Patrick's Day Parade. The fifth annual parade starts at 1pm at Bucklin and 2nd Streets.  From there, the route continues south on Bucklin to First Street, then east on First Street to La Harpe Street, before turning north on La Harpe to 2nd Street and finally west on 2nd to Gooding Street.

To help celebrate, we will be serving up corned beef and cabbage, plus all the Irish whiskey you can stomach. Here's an Irish toast to wash it down:

"Here's to you and yours and to mine and ours
If mine and ours ever come across you and yours
I hope you and yours will do as much for mine and ours
as mine and ours have done for you and yours."

So come down and watch the parade, then celebrate with us. There isn't a more fun way to start the day!  Plus, now that we've had two consecutive months with a Friday the 13th, we could all probably use a little Irish luck as well this St. Patty's Day. Lets hope talking about it brings us some.

Take the Irish shamrock, which has a long history. An Ireland shamrock is a three-leafed clover that grows in the summer and is native to Ireland. It's actually a variety of a weed. Shamrocks grow from bulbs and may bloom with white flowers around St. Patrick's Day. The shamrock has been symbolic of different things through the ages and has had many different meanings attached to it.

On St. Patrick's Day, many people will be seen wearing a shamrock charm to show support for Ireland and celebrate Irish pride, even if they are not Irish. The four-leaf clover is often confused with the shamrock. While the four-leaf clover is a symbol of good luck, the three-leafed shamrock is mainly an Irish Christian symbol of the Holy Trinity and has a different significance.

During the fifth century, St. Patrick used the Irish shamrock to illustrate the concept of the Holy Trinity. One leaf represented the Father, one the Son and one the Holy Ghost. By drawing on the Irish love for the shamrock, St. Patrick was able to convert many pagan Celts into Christians.

I am sure you've heard the saying that "everything happens in threes." Well in Ireland, they do consider three to be their lucky number. Crone, Mother and Virgin. Love, Valour and Wit. Faith, Hope and Charity. Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Numbers played an important role in Celtic symbolism. Three was the most sacred and magical number. Everything good (or lucky) in Ireland comes in threes, hence the shamrock's three leaves and importance to the Irish.

Another bit of Irish luck would be running into a leprechaun seen above. A leprechaun is a type of fairy in Irish folklore, usually taking the form of an old man in a red or green coat, who enjoys partaking in mischief. The Leprechauns spend all their time busily making shoes and storing away their coins in a hidden pot of gold. Treasure hunters can often track down a leprechaun by the sound of his shoemaker's hammer.

If caught, he can be forced to reveal the whereabouts of his treasure.  Or if he is captured by a human, the Leprechaun has the magical power to grant three wishes in exchange for their release. (There's the number three again.) The captor must keep their eyes on him every second, because if the captor's eyes leave the leprechaun, he vanishes and all hopes of finding the treasure are lost.

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