The 10 Commandements of Parade Day

You never stop learning about Scranton’s Parade Day.

still one of my favorite parade day pics.

This will be my 16th Parade Day, which actually does include a parade. I’ve finally seen it. Most of those Parade Days were spent getting up at 6 a.m. to make sure I was drinking by 7. But times have changed, families have been started, responsibilities have been added. Now? I’m old. I don’t hit the bar scene until about 2 after making sure my kids get the full experience of one of the world’s biggest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the world right in our backyard, the same way my parents did it for me when I was a kid.

That doesn’t mean these last three Parade Days have been any less fun than the first dozen. Well, maybe not as fun — but a different kind of fun.

Nothing changes the fact that I wake up on Parade Day and think the same eight words I always have, straight from the immortal Tom Sizemore in the immortal-er Striking Distance:

I’ve done this blog post every year on the Friday before Parade Day. Some of them have disappeared, but if you want to go back and pick up the basics, you can check out my blog posts from 2008from 2009, from 2010 or 2011. But they need some serious updating for purposes of technology, bar availability and new lessons learned.

Consider these the 10 Commandments of Parade Day. If you’re thinking about heading up to Scranton for Parade Day and you’re a rookie, read these rules. If you’ve been there before, read them as a refresher and thank me on Sunday.

1. Wear comfortable shoes you don’t mind possibly throwing in the garbage Sunday. Your shoes will get unbelievably dirty, and you’ll wake up with no explanation for how it happened. And if you’re wearing heels, you will regret it until your feet stop hurting sometime around Good Friday.

2. Eat, eat, eat. Then eat again. No less than five times before 2 p.m., you will want pizza. Then you will see the line at Papa’s or Sal’s, and you’ll say, “I’ll get it later.” Before you know it, it’s 5 p.m., all you have in your stomach is the bagel you had at 8:30 and you’re asking yourself questions like, “How did I get this drunk???” IT’S BECAUSE YOU DIDN’T EAT!!! The more you eat, the longer you can drink.

looks about right.

3. Bring lots of cash. I know everyone wants to just hand over their credit card and run a tab these days — me too — but most downtown bars won’t even do that for you on Parade Day. Takes too long. And that money goes quick, so bring extra. If you do to two different bars (at $10 cover) and get two beers at each place (as high as $5 each), that’s $40 right there for about an hour’s worth of fun. You need about $100 (per person) to make sure you can last most of the day. Unless you’re a girl, then you can just flirt and get guys to buy you a beer. Not from me, of course, I’ve been around too long to see through that BS.

4. Have cab fare. In a pocket you won’t touch during the day, put $20 in it and DON’T USE IT. That’s cab fare for the night. If you don’t need it, great! You’re not broke on Sunday.

5. Get your hand stamped whenever you leave a bar. You never know when your friends will say they want to go back to the Hardware Bar, and you don’t want to pay an extra $10 just to get back in.

6. Don’t rely on cellphones. You can’t hear them ring, you’re too drunk to notice them vibrate and if you do hear them, you can’t hear the person on the other end. And texting will resemble something like, “DFFHFJ SDFKGS Shfkd DFH dfhfklxcfje!!!”

7. Make a tentative plan with your friends before you go out. You’re not going to stick to it. But when you break from your wolfpack to talk to some brunette in a “Blank me I’m Irish” T-shift, then you realize you’ve been talking to her for two hours and your friends are gone, at least you have a slight idea where they might be.  

you might think this is the weirdest thing you'll see on parade day. you'd be wrong.

8. Watch out for pictures. Every idiot and their brother wants to take pictures and put them right up on Facebook. But when you get tagged, your friends/parents/bosses are going to see it. So you might not want to be grabbing someone’s butt, flipping the bird or letting some hussy kiss you. That’s how fights start. You know what sucks? Fighting on Parade Day. You know what sucks worse? Fighting the day after Parade Day. Been there, done that, hate that.

9. Stick to beer. You start mixing in hard alcohol, you’re asking for trouble. Worse, you’re asking for an early pass out time and listening to about 587 Sunday stories from your friends that start with, “Dude, you soooooo missed it …”

10. Take a break. You can watch the parade, you can get something to eat, you can sit on a bench at the courthouse and watch the drunks go by. Whatever. But odds are you will go hours without sitting down in the bars and around 1 p.m. you’ll feel like you’ll keel over any minute. At this point, you need to finish your beer and take a step back from whatever you’re doing and rest. It will help you in the long run.

This entry was posted in The Local Scene and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Rules. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or fill out this form.