Last weekend’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, here in Kingston, was one magnificent event. Before the Shamrock Run began, which paved the way for the paraders from the Gov. Clinton Hotel to the Rondout, I rode my bike down the course as folks were setting up chairs, positioning themselves for the best view. Downtown, cars lined up on the 9W overpass, people streaming down to Broadway. The streets were jammed pack, and everyone cheered the runners near the finish. The parade included everyone in and around the city, it seemed. There were bagpipers and bicycle clubs, shriners in go-carts, firetrucks, dogs, kids, veterans, police, congressmen, a mayor, retirees, clowns and green cotton candy sellers. After the parade was over, people remained in a party mood. There were tailgate parties with barbecues and beer by the Maritime Museum. People were packed inside and out of Mariner’s Harbor, Rosita and the Steel House. It was truly festive. I realized two things later that day. One is that Kingston is an extremely diverse city made up artists, crafts people, carpenters, construction workers, day laborers, plumbers, electricians, lawyers, doctors, homeopathic healers, psychics, priests, bankers, accountants, environmentalists, cooks, chefs, nurses, car sales associates, retailers, real estate brokers, technopreneurs, entrepreneurs, small business owners, teachers and fireman, among many more. The other thing I realized is that the parade offered a much-needed respite from a long winter clouded by a steep, economic downturn. Welcome spring.
— Arthur Zaczkiewicz