I couldn’t let this week slip by without taking a quick look back at the City of Dublin’s 2011 St. Patrick’s Day parade … simply because it was worth a second look for several reasons.
- The acclaim. Just a week or so before the big event this year, U.S. News and World Report named Dublin’s parade one of America’s Best St. Patrick’s Day Parades. That’s a big deal, especially when there are only nine other cities on the list and you are keeping company with destinations including New York, Chicago, Boston and San Francisco. The article notes that, although one might expect at least one city named Dublin to appear on the list, “…this is the one that embraces its Irish legacy with the most fervor.” Then there was the mention of Dublin, Ohio on the Today Show (on Thursday, March 17). There’s something about your city being recognized nationally that makes one just a wee bit prouder.
- The weather. Anyone who attended both the 2010 and the 2011 St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin will likely tell you that 2011 was MUCH better. The sunshine and mild temperatures this year almost made us completely forget about the rain and cold temperatures we braved (in our plastic rain coats and boots) on parade day last year. But beyond that, this year’s parade included more balloons, volunteers and energy. (My favorite entry was a pot o’ gold balloon that the handlers had to tip sideways to wrangle under the street light. I found myself wishing that baby was real.)
- The community. Being raised in Dublin (okay, a LONG time ago), I’ve seen it grow and change over the years. One of my favorite parts of my job at the Dublin Convention & Visitors Bureau is getting out among the people attending our events, talking to them and photographing them. It gives you a real sense of who “we” are—and how much people love Dublin, Ohio. Coincidentally this past week, I attended a focus group in northern Ohio and listened to a group of residents of that area share their thoughts about Dublin. At one point, the facilitator asked them what words described Dublin, Ohio. “Friendly,” one woman said. And then everyone agreed. Every single person in that group. There’s something about your city being recognized statewide that makes one just a wee bit prouder.
-Post by Mary