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Posted by: hannaheath on 03/15/2008 05:02 PM Updated by: Kim_Hamilton on 03/17/2008 10:11 AM
Expires: 01/01/2013 12:00 AM

"Luck of the Irish" Murphys Irish Day 2008 ~By Hanna Heath (Updated with full parade Video & over 170 Photos)

Murphys, CA….Thousands of people lined the streets of down town Murphys this afternoon for the 17th annual Irish Day celebration. The yearly Irish tradition brought the “Luck of the Irish” weather, wet and cold. For the first half of the morning the sun was peaking through the large puffy clouds with a slight mist in the air, common weather in Ireland. Around one o’clock after the parade had ended; a total change in weather had thousands of people fleeing for cover. The light mist had turned into rain, hail, and then snow. The bad weather however didn’t stop thousands of locals and tourists from all over the United States from coming and celebrating St. Patrick…..

Who is St. Patrick? St. Patrick is believed to have driven the snakes from Ireland. Once a pagan himself, St. Patrick is one of Christianity's most widely known figures. The modern secular holiday is based on the original Christian saint's feast day also thought to be the date of the saint's death.

In 1737, Irish immigrants to the United States began observing the holiday publicly in Boston and held the first St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York City in 1766.Today, the tradition continues with people from all walks and heritages by wearing green, eating Irish food, and attending parades. St. Patrick's Day is bursting with folklore; from the shamrock to the leprechaun and to pinching those that are not wearing green.

The festive parade took main street Murphys this morning at 11am. Today’s parade was organized by the Murphys Business Association (MBA), and sponsored with Black Oak Casino and Mark Twain Josephs Hospital.

Various participants included the: Bret Harte High School Band, Girl Scouts, Students Grand Marshals, Old Cars, Murphys Fire Department, Altaville Jr. Miss Calaveras and many more. “This year has brought the Luck of the Irish; it’s a joy to participate in such a community involved event. We have been participating for over 7 years and we enjoy it very much,” shared Earlene Smith owner of Peppermint Creek Carriage Company.

This wonderful parade allows different ages groups to become more involved with the community including students from Avery Middle School. Seventh grade students Terran Hilden, Morgan Lyle, and Helena Littman shared, “I like participating in this parade because you get to see everyone in the crowd and we like how the people cheer for us.”

I spoke with couple Kim and Paul Paulden, who were married during Irish Day’s 7 years ago. They were married on March 17th the official St. Patrick’s Day at the First Congregational Church of Murphys. After their ceremony the whole bridal party walked the streets of Murphys during the street faire, to celebrate St. Patrick. “We come back every year to celebrate our anniversary with our family. It’s a great family event and we are really lucky to have been married on this day,” shared Kim Paulden.

Lining the side of the streets were vendors from all over California participated. Some of the booth's included hand made jewelry, Celtic wearable’s, Relay for Life, garden décor, Calaveras Olive Oil, Irish soda bread and much more. The Native Son’s Hall sits directly in the middle of the Street Faire, making it the perfect location for the silent auction and the corn beef and cabbage dinner.

The bad weather actually helped the silent auction to reach record highs. Traffic was booming up and down the aisles of the Native Son’s Hall building.

Today is the official Irish Day in Ireland, the day normally in March 17th but changes over hundreds of years to different dates. Although Irish Days is not held on Irish Days in the United States, people in Ireland are watching parades, wearing shamrocks, and drinking green beer just like we are at the Murphys Irish Day, 2008.

The day was full of dressing in green, eating Irish foods, and celebrating the history of St. Patrick. We hope to see you all next year for this “Lucky” celebration.

Check out the whole day on film in our photo albums section.

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