Even though there was lots of rain Friday night and into Saturday morning, the weather guys were claiming it should stop in time for the noon start of Cincinnati’s Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. I believed them enough to head downtown and not only did the rain stop, the sun broke through the clouds more than an hour before step off time and some pretty serious warming got underway. At Arnold’s, the Guinness parade pictured at right was going on long before I got there and would continue throughout the day.
This parade has followed many routes over the years. Once upon a time, it actually started near Arnold’s but had not been very close is several years. Today’s route passed just a half-block away on Sycamore after running north on Eggleston and — quite briefly — west on Central parkway. The parade is always led by the statue of Saint Patrick seen in the first picture passing the recently opened Horseshoe Casino. The casino wasn’t the only “new” thing on the parade route. At the last minute, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), which had marched in the parade last year, was booted. Well behaved but very vocal protesters stood at the turn onto Sycamore.
As often happens, I hadn’t been paying attention. The first I’d heard anything about this was back at Arnold’s where I struck up a conversation with a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians. The parade is organized by the AOH. Yes, he said, he would be marching but it was a “terrible route”. He decried the fact that the parade would not go through “downtown”, by which I assume he meant Fountain Square. Then he seemed to somehow blame this “terrible route” — a phrase he used several times — on the fact that “we won’t allow gays in the parade.” That could hardly be the case since GLSEN’s banishment became known only Friday but the move did not go over well with city officials. As reported by The Huffington Post, several withdrew from the parade in their own protest. I guess I should start paying attention as this clearly is not the end of the subject.
I’d climbed to the upper floor of a parking garage to get that shot of the DeLoreans and, while there, pointed a long lens toward Arnold’s. It obviously remained busy during the parade and was even busier after. The second picture is in Arnold’s courtyard where I managed to find a spot at the back to listen to the Cincinnati Glee Club perform a medley of Irish tunes. Sláinte!
On top of the parade, my weekend plans included a Saturday night concert in Oxford and a Sunday afternoon book presentation in Greenville. Between the parade and the concert, I stopped by the open house at Fifth Street Brewpub in Dayton. This is the first co-op brewpub in Ohio and only the second in the nation. I can now honestly tell people I own a brewpub.
Although I could have driven home between each of these events, I made it a little easier by spending Saturday night at one of my favorite independent motels. The Golden Inn is on the National Road near New Paris, Ohio, and more or less half way between Oxford and Greenville. Lea Ann Golden, who runs the place with husband Jeff, mentioned a new restaurant in town and I tried it out. No pictures but the meat loaf and okra were excellent.
The concert was at the home of Marc and Lisa Biales, a.k.a. The Big Song Music House. The performer was Michael Johnathon of WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour. I really do need to get to the show in Lexington but this will do for now. Lisa has appeared on the show and tonight she opened and returned near the end for couple of duets. Another great evening of music in the Oxford countryside.