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Last week’s warm temperatures got me pumped for the weekend’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities. If there’s one thing you should know about Kingston, it’s that this city knows how to party. And really, nothing beats nice weather, friends and a parade.

But then the forecast shifted. Rain was predicted from Friday through the weekend. Gray skies had not given way to sun since Thursday. Long story short, the parade was going to be a wet one.

But we brought our umbrellas and ponchos and we prevailed. Why? Because in spite of rain, in spite of the relative chill, there was a parade that needed to happen. You can’t just go canceling one of the biggest events of the year, you know? This year’s parade was dedicated to former City Clerk Kathy Janeczek, who passed away after a brief illness last year. Rain or shine, it was going to be a good day. Kathy would have wanted it that way.

Angry drinking leprechaun float! Not pictured (and easily my favorite sight of the day): the tiny Asian boy wearing a large hat and leprechaun beard.

I met up with Alex (who deserves extra credit for braving the wet weather and accompanying me on the day’s adventures) just before things got underway. After the Shamrock Run kickoff, a slew of tractors, green cars and walking politicians inched down Broadway. Candy was thrown, free beer was drunk (thank you, Keegan Ales), green bagels were eaten and a solid time was had.

This photo doesn't come close to reflecting the actual greenness of the bagel and cream cheese.

After the parade, Alex and I, along with half the town, squeezed into newly reopened Mariner’s Harbor. We were inside for no more than 10 minutes before a couple dozen musicians, clad in kilts and carrying drums and bagpipes, pushed inside. A few of them climbed on top of the bar and gave a show (especially the girl on the right…thumbs up for extra bobbing):

St. Patrick’s Day isn’t until Wednesday, so I’m planning on a couple more days of celebration. Does that mean painting shamrocks on my nails, watching Veronica Guerin and wearing green eyeliner? Yep, that’s celebration enough.