In a normal year, we'd be bringing you hundreds of road closures relating to parades around the country. Instead, Esther O'Moore Donohoe reflects fondly on the engine-run stars of every local St. Patrick's Day parade.
Ah, St. Patrick’s Day. 'Tis a day to celebrate all things Irish - like shamrocks, forty shades of green and chicken fillet rolls. There’ll be no parades around the country again this year, but our memories of Paddy's Days past are with us always. With that in mind, we decided to reflect on some of the regular automobiles that are staples of a typical Irish St. Patrick’s Day parade.
The Tractor Factor
Top of any parade checklist is tractor inventory. How many tractors do we have in the area? 56? Great. Let’s get them all involved, for what is better than seeing one tractor? Seeing tonnes of them. Like giant, galvanised elephants, the grand procession of the tractors is a sight to both dazzle and amaze. This section is normally a huge hit with the under fours. And you never know, where’s there’s a tractor, a digger is probably not too far behind so, keep your eyes peeled.
Local Band on the Back of a Lorry
The Local Band On The Back Of A Lorry is not only fun to say, it’s also a must-have for any parade worth its salt. Throw a few Transition Year students on the back, get them to play Sex On Fire by Kings of Leon and boom. The party has well and truly started and is travelling at an even 5km per hour.
The Classic Cars
If you are the owner of a 1991 Punto, then congratulations; your set of wheels has reached classic car status*. Whilst the Punto is undoubtedly a head turner, car enthusiasts also love to parade their other showstoppers. Main Streets up and down Ireland shimmer with glamour as vintage Jaguars, Daimlers and Model Ts cruise by ye olde Spars.
*FACT ALERT: Vehicles born between 1946 and 1991 are considered 'classic cars'.
The flatbed truck is the Swiss Army Knife of St. Patrick’s Day parade vehicles. The local Am Dram society could turn it into a stage and perform scenes from Father Ted or Mrs. Browns Boys. The GAA team could turn it into a pitch and have a mini game. Perhaps some local dancers could recreate the full performance of Riverdance. Anything can happen on a flatbed and it usually does. It’s far from flatbeds St. Patrick himself came, but he’d no doubt appreciate the colour and creativity he inspired. The flatbed truck – practically perfect in every way.
White HiAce Van Pulling a Trailer
The white HiAce is the perfect parade mode of transport. Not only does the Tricolour really pop against the white slide doors, hitch a trailer to the back and the possibilities are endless. Why not do up the trailer like a baby’s crib and stick the manager of the local credit union in the back in a onesie. Crowds would be wowed. Better yet, fling a few fun-size bars at the bystanders for extra pizazz.
Scramblers Driven by Minions
No St. Patrick’s Day celebration is complete without one person dressed in an inflatable Minion costume. Pop them on the back of a scrambler and just watch how happy it makes people. A Minion costume can boost parade smiles by approximately 62%* and is a definite festival must-have.
*please note this fact is totally unverifiable and 100% made up.