Erin go brrragh!
St. Patrick's Day Parade revelers in the Old Neighborhood braved icy winds and temperatures that felt like 4 degrees Saturday, but at least they had more elbow room than usual. The cold weather kept a lot of people home.
But the diehards were out in force, sporting everything from the usual green tutus and shamrock glasses to curly, green wigs and three-piece shamrock suits.
"The Irish don't quit!" said Scott Ogden, a South Buffalonian and a regular at the parade.
Here's how he and other paradegoers managed to heat up the Old First Ward Saturday:
- Keith Ogden, Scott's brother, has watched the parade from the same spot at the corner of Elk Street and Euclid Place for 15 years. He wasn't going to let the frigid weather keep him away. "I knew it was gonna be cold, but I knew I wasn't gonna miss it, so I'm trying to keep as warm as humanly possible," he said. To do that, Ogden lugged a more than 7-foot-tall propane heater to the corner to keep his crew warm.
- What do Irishmen wear under their kilts? In the case of South Buffalo's Jim Robinson, long underwear. But isn't that cheating? "I'm old, not stupid," he said.
- Not surprisingly, the most common method for keeping warm at the parade was consuming alcohol, and people found several creative ways to do it. There was a green guzzler helmet, a six-can beer-holster belt and a five-person beer funnel. One gentleman even served both hot and cold homemade moonshine from the tailgate of his truck. Thing is, while alcohol can make you feel warmer, it actually lowers your core temperature. But I wasn't about to break that to anyone.
- Gail Conlan stayed toasty thanks to $1 hand warmers, several layers of clothing including two jackets and four shirts and, most importantly, lots of snuggling with her mate.
- Porta-potties are a fixture on local St Paddy's Day floats. This year's parade incorporated no fewer than a dozen portable toilets.
- Debbie Jax of Buffalo said she didn't even think about skipping the parade. She and her friends woke up, put on "two layers of everything," and hit the road. "We're Buffalo tough," she said.