Mar 20, 2012

St. Patrick’s Day musings from Springfield, Ill.

We were fortunate enough to have actual St. Patrick’s Day fall on a Saturday this year.  That, along with record warmth in the Capital City, brought out the largest St. Patrick’s Day celebration to downtown Springfield I can recall.  And while the powers that be in the city would like to pretend it’s all about the parade, the reality is that’s just an afterthought to the street festival atmosphere that takes over downtown.  Everyone is a little Irish … and a little more inebriated.

My day started with breakfast at my fake wife’s condo.  It was a great get-together with friends old and new, and the Bailey’s and coffee and Bloody Marys helped set the mood.  As a side note, I think every guy should have a fake wife, and every woman should have a fake husband – a good friend of the opposite sex who you can be your best friend, wingman, etc.  Gypsy has had a fake husband for years and strongly endorses the concept.  Anyway, you can imagine the harbinger of things to come when I saw my fake wife’s roommate:

It doesn't get more festive than this.

After breakfast, I headed to downtown to meet up with more friends at (where else) the Brewhaus, which also happens to be at the end of the parade route.  It didn’t take long for the usual large crowd to gather.

Fortunately, the weather helped make an outside stand in front of the Brewhaus more inviting than usual.  And really, with these lovely ladies serving you, why would you want to go anywhere else?

Well, parades don’t keep my attention very well, so I headed toward “grand central” for the St. Pat’s partying, Fifth Street and Floyd’s Thirst Parlor.  Here’s the crowd gathering in front of Floyd’s:

And here’s the view from upstairs once the parade was over: 

My next stop was the newly opened Tin Can Pub (can you guess the motif?) to watch the one and only Elvis Himselvis.  I can’t think of anything more appropriate on St. Patrick’s Day than a “larger than life” Elvis impersonator in a “slimming” sequined black jumpsuit. 

That's the way I remember Elvis.

That's the fake wife in the foreground.  
And just when I thought the day was winding down, as fate would have it a mysterious and exotic Gypsy contacted me to meet up with her and her friends at an appropriately fine Irish bar downtown, J.P. Kelly’s.  I could tell right away that the mood was festive … and so was the cleavage. 

Gypsy's friend Dana

Gypsy proudly showing her "lucky" necklace

Some guys just can't resist a Gypsy's charms
And on that positive note, I’ll wrap up the wrap-up of our St. Pat’s celebration.  We did end the evening with dinner and drinks at our good friends the Clennons’ home on Illinois Street, the best party block on the planet.  I can attest to that – I used to live there.  And really, shouldn’t everyone dine and drink with someone authentically Irish on St. Patrick’s Day?

One final note, I purchased tickets for me and Gypsy for the Beale Street Music Festival again this year, so we’ll be heading back there the first weekend in May.  I expect many more blog-worthy memories from that trip, and I’m sure I’ll find a few more before then, too.  

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