Norfolk St Patricks Parade
Written on February 10, 2016
“Why don’t we have a parade to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?”
Those few words were spoken on a Saturday afternoon in March, 1967 when several Brother Knights of Father Kealey Council 3548 were sitting at the bar of their one-room, cinder block home on Government Avenue in Norfolk, VA. The words, repeatedly spoken launched one of Norfolk’s most enduring traditions and what we know now as the “Saint Patrick’s Day Parade”.
Join Us for the 49th Annual Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. The Parade steps off at 10:00am on March 19, 2016. Don’t miss the After Parade Party, presented by the Columbian Club of Ocean View starting at noon at 211 W. Government Ave featuring live bands: Tidewater Drive (outside) and The Janitors (inside the Hall). Plenty of food and refreshments will be available as well.
Beginning with the 2016 parade, operations were handed over from the Knights of Columbus Council 3548 to Norfolk Parade, Inc.
There are several accounts of Saint Patrick’s death. One says that Patrick died at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland, on March 17, 460 A.D. His jawbone was preserved in a silver shrine and was often requested in times of childbirth, epileptic fits, and as a preservative against the “evil eye.” Another account says that St. Patrick ended his days at Glastonbury, England and was buried there. The Chapel of St. Patrick still exists as part of Glastonbury Abbey. Today, many Catholic places of worship all around the world are named after St. Patrick, including cathedrals in New York and Dublin city
A toast for St Patrick’s Day, “May the roof above us never fall in, and may we friends beneath it never fall out.”
Saint Patrick’s Day?
Saint Patrick’s Day has come to be associated with everything Irish: anything green and gold, shamrocks and luck. Most importantly, to those who celebrate its intended meaning, St. Patrick’s Day is a traditional day for spiritual renewal and offering prayers for missionaries worldwide.
Why is it celebrated on March 17th? One theory is that that is the day that St. Patrick died. Since the holiday began in Ireland, it is believed that as the Irish spread out around the world, they took with them their history and celebrations. The biggest observance of all is, of course, in Ireland. With the exception of restaurants and pubs, almost all businesses close on March 17th. Being a religious holiday as well, many Irish attend mass, where March 17th is the traditional day for offering prayers for missionaries worldwide before the serious celebrating begins.
In American cities with a large Irish population, St. Patrick’s Day is a very big deal. Big cities and small towns alike celebrate with parades, “wearing of the green,” music and songs, Irish food and drink, and activities for kids such as crafts, coloring and games. Some communities even go so far as to dye rivers or streams green!