Read Sean Roberts!
Sean eagerly anticipated attending the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. He had already researched where to go, and where to stand, to get the best view of arguably the grandest parade on earth. One of New York City’s greatest traditions, dating back to the 1700s, the parade route up Fifth Avenue—from 44th to 79th Street—will have hours and hours of marching bands, traditional kilts and plenty of plaid, as well as bagpipers piping, drummers drumming, and police, fire, and military battalions all saluting Irish heritage.
The St. Paddy’s Day crowd was enormous. Within its vast clatter of drums—large powerful bagpipes benevolently wept each fragile note of “Amazing Grace.” Purple neckties accentuated a sea of dark gray uniforms, neatly pressed and topped with large khaki hats, strapped tightly onto each state trooper, as they rhythmically marched together, all in a tight formation, captured by the lens of the NBC cameramen jogging alongside the parade route.
Metal barriers lined both sides of the street, holding back a thick mob of spectators, perhaps as many as ten deep. It was the perfect storm, and not only random snowflakes falling either, increasing with each minute March 17 paraded on. Something was definitely brewing.
Prominent tapestries led the different affiliations of green, white, and orange—held up high, supported by ropes on each side, similar to the medieval tapestries Sean saw in his dreams of significant Irish history.
The noise level continued to rise, as the number of drums and bagpipes increased. It was one after another, flooding the wet pavement of one of the most famous avenues in the world. Led by his own paranoia, Sean’s anxiety began to rise equally as fast.
Why was Josh here? That was an odd coincidence.
He began to walk up Fifth Ave., which was sprinkled with a dusting of snow, a path entirely aligned with the parade, all the way up to 79th Street. In reality, it was the wrong way on a one-way, northbound. Fifth Avenue traffic usually flows one-way south only. For St. Paddy’s Day, though, the marching was north, Midtown to Upper Manhattan.
Nonetheless, Sean marched on.
The walk will be good, he said to himself, as the unexpected wind and whirling snow pushed and pulled against his cold, unshaven face. The cold wind will force me to focus…it’ll wake me up.
Security was tight—it had to be—with over two million people out and about. Many cheers turned into what sounded like young women’s screeching screams—but all good, all festive, and all for fun.
Both sides of the street were packed with tourists, many dressed in green, their cell phones raised up high, trying to capture a quick video or picture of the main event—with just as many selfies snapped along the way.
What happens next?