Your (Out-of-the-) Poconos Weekend Fun Guide

I say it every year, so I’ll say it again this year. When I wake up on Scranton Parade Day, that line from Striking Distance is the first thing that goes through my head. A huge smile beams across my face and I jump out of bed with the knowledge that, yes, it’s Parade Day.

And it is beautiful. This year, even the weather is going to cooperate!

can't believe someone is actually able to make money off this.

I’m partaking in my 17th consecutive drinking Parade Day, and while I don’t do the 7 a.m., umm, excuse me, 9 a.m. thing anymore, it’s still the best day of the year. It’s a different kind of fun now. My wife and I now run the annual pre-parade 2-mile race through the downtown while I push my daughters in a jogging stroller, an effort that earned me multiple chants of “Super Dad!” from drunk people lining the streets last year. Then we take the girls to the parade, drop them off with their grandparents’ and away we go!

I know there are a ton of people from the Poconos that head up to Scranton for Parade Day, and I know many of them are doing it for the first time. So if you are a first-timer, you need my wisdom and experience. I can’t force it on you, but you should trust me. I’ve done this before.

The first place to start is my 10 Commandments of Parade Day post last year. That’s the overview, and those 10 rules will never change, at least not until technology changes. So make sure you check them out before you go.

But let’s go ahead and add three addendum observations:

Don’t expect it to be “like it used to be.” I heard a whole bunch of the old-timers — umm, me, my friends and my brothers — last year pissing and moaning about how many people there are, how expensive it is, how everyone smells bad, how I should stop spilling beer on everyone, blah, blah, blah. Get over it. That’s the Parade Day world we live in now, and it’s not changing anytime soon. The most important part of Parade Day is to have fun. If you go in complaining, you’ll spend the whole day complaining and you’ll bring the rest of us down. Lighten up!

one of my scheduled stops tomorrow.

Some things that are passe and should be avoided at all times, or else you’ll look like a rookie and be treated as such: Those big blow horns, kilts on guys (but not on girls), green hair, puking before noon,

All the bars have changed from 5 years ago. I count 1 big-time bar — 1! — that is still around on this Parade Day like it was during my first one in 1997, and that’s Traxx at the Radisson Hotel. Other bars have changed hands and are now known by different names (Tink’s on Linden Avenue became Hardware Bar which is now Mulligan’s), but if you haven’t been there in a while, you’re just going to have to mill around to find some place you like. This is the first year that Farley’s, a Parade Day staple and the first downtown bar to introduce 7 a.m. drinking, will not be open. It closed last fall. Every single bar that I went into over my first five Parade Days is closed or has a new name. Mostly closed though. See what I mean about that whole “like it used to be” thing?

No tagging. That’s the bare minimum when it comes to Facebook policy on Parade Day, don’t tag that you’re with anyone without permission, and most certainly don’t tag any photos with or without permission. People say crazy things on Parade Day, like, “Yeah, you can take a picture of me smoking a joint while I make out with my mistress,” or “Make sure you get a shot of me punching this jabroni in the face.” If you have to take a picture of it for future blackmail purposes, be my guest. But when you post that kind of stuff and tag that person on it, you’re talking about things that get people fired, divorced, arrested or worse, whatever that can be. So lay off the tags. My suggestion is don’t use Facebook at all on Parade Day, but I know that’s crazy talk. I’ll probably be breaking my own rule and doing some live tweeting @poprox1, so feel free to stop by in the afternoon and see if you can decipher my tweets.

Since not everyone will be headed to Scranton, your abridged Poconos Weekend Fun Guide:

Queensryche is a band I’ll never get. I get that some people liked Silent Lucidity — I most certainly did not — but I couldn’t name one other of its songs. Yet, here they are charging $35 a pop for tickets to a show Saturday at Penn’s Peak. Maybe there’s more to Queensryche than meets the ear, but I would never in a million years have guessed that they’d still be around, touring, in 2013. Make fun of one-hit wonders all you want, but if you play your cards right, you can turn that one hit into a ridiculously lucrative career.

Now here’s a show I can get into and will most definitely support, Awolnation coming to the Sherman Theater on March 22. The show was announced this week in a quick turnaround because it was supposed to be at Croc Rock in Allentown, but has been moved to Stroudsburg. I have no idea why, I saw some Facebook chatter that Croc Rock is having trouble, I have no idea. But hey, their loss, our gain! Awolnation is probably my favorite new rock band right now. I find a lot of its music haunting and lovely at the same time, and I hope its next album is just as good as this first one. I dare say this may be my favorite Sherman Theater show so far.

In case you don’t feel like driving up for Parade Day but still want to bask in the lovely glow of St. Patrick’s Day, you can still head out to Madd Anthony’s in Blakeslee on Saturday for the bar’s pre-St. Patty’s Day party, or as most of us call it, “Parade Day.” apparently Blakeslee is the geographical limit where you can’t officially sponge off the Parade Day brand. Anyway, they’re doing green beer and Jell-O shots, which, incidentally, goes against one of my Parade Day Commandments, “no hard alcohol. But I doubt there are many people hitting Scranton at 9 a.m. and then making it to Madd Anthony’s for 9 p.m. So knock yourself out.

Raymond the Amish Comic is making his way back to the Poconos this weekend, performing at Poconuts in the Pocono Brewing Company in Swiftwater. The show is tomorrow at 9 p.m.

G is at Cinder Inn in East Stroudsburg tonight starting at 9:30, Panda Pub in Marshalls Creek is doing Ladies Night tonight and the Blue Tequila has a TGIF Dance Party starting at 9:30.

Now you’re all caught up.

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