I started working in downtown St. Paul 12 years ago. At that time, I worked at the main courthouse. When St. Patrick’s Day came, I did not know about the annual parade. I walked outside during lunch and was shocked by the thrilling sight that words cannot adequately describe — it must be experienced to fully understand. I could not believe the transformation of a normally quiet downtown street. It was a combination of the State Fair, a circus and a neighborhood gathering. It was wonderful! Everyone was smiling. Judges from the courthouse were actually in the parade.
The fact that all this excitement occurred on a workday only multiplied the enjoyment. There was the palpable feeling that St. Paul’s celebration for the holiday was larger and more important than the workday. It was and is an incredible feeling to just stop your day for the relatively short parade.
To permanently move this celebration to a Saturday, as city officials are considering (Twin Cities+Region, March 13), would remove the celebratory heart and soul out of the parade. It would be like celebrating Christmas or New Year’s Eve or even July 4 on a different day than the actual holiday. It just feels wrong.
Diane M. Dodd, Eagan