March 18, 2008

Boston St. Patrick's Day Parade, New England Garrison

The 501ST NEG Marched in the 2008 South Boston St. Patrick's Day Parade over the past weekend, to wide-spread enthusiasm and excitement from the crowds of South Boston. The legion's marched this parade before, and it was widely acknowledged that this year was one of the best times out for the time of year.
Boston is home to a large Irish-American community, with deep roots to Ireland - as a result, there was a crowd of quite probably tens of thousands on March 16th, for a parade that was multiple hours long.
The NEG was in fine force for this event, with over 60 people marching (this is including members of the Rebel Legion as well), in addition to 10 additional wranglers, who were much needed for some areas of this parade. Two trucks mounted with speakers blasted Imperial March and several other recognizable tracks from the Star Wars soundtracks, putting the crowds into the proper mood as we walked past. The entire length of the parade was about four miles, and it was probably a 2.5-3 hour walk for us, up and down hills.
The NEG marched in formation, with Vader leading the pack in the second truck, with the TK, TS, TB, Clones, Bounty Hunters and Denizens following behind. Wranglers kept the crowds back, and there were numerous requests for pictures, handshakes and general screamed enthusiasm for us as we went by. There were thousands of cameras in the crowd, and when we stopped, there was a number of people who stepped out to us.
By the end of the parade route, we were ready - it was a long walk, and the bus back was very welcome. At the staging area, we got our suits off, and went off.
A number of us met up just after at Goodtimes, a restaurant not too far away, for dinner and talking.

Personally, I found the parade to be a really fun time - I hadn't done the parade before, and was thrilled that the weather was decent for this - I think that I've been spoiled for future parades.
I did have a lot of problems getting into Boston - I think this is the worst experience that I've had driving around a city, because I got completely turned around for about two hours, arriving at the pre-parade get together at Flattop Johnny's on Saturday. It was extremely frustrating. A thousand thanks to my friend Bill for giving me directions for the last half hour or so. I ended up spending the night at his apartment, so as to avoid another couple hours of missed turns. The next morning, Billy and four of his friends came to help us out, which was really appreciated by all.

The get together at Flattops and Goodtimes was a lot of fun. I got to see a lot of people I haven't seen in a while, which was a lot of fun. Next time, I need a map of the city.


Anonymous said...

Yea, I had a great time wrangling and it was nice meeting you as well.. By the way, were you one of the 3 troopers who I had pose for the picture above?


Andrew said...

Yep, I'm the one on the left - Great, great photo - do you have a higher resolution one?

We were thrilled to have you help out! Thanks for coming out, and good luck with the Jawa!