On Saturday, March 16, the Irish Channel St. Patrick's Day Club held its 66th annual mass and parade. It was preceded by their annual benefit block party on Thursday, March 14, at Annunciation Square Playground. This year's fundraising efforts benefited St. Michael's Special School. After a mass at St. Mary's Assumption Church, the parade meandered up Magazine Street, turning up Jackson Avenue, up St. Charles Avenue, down Louisiana Avenue and back onto Magazine Street.
Revelers were out in droves enjoying the warm weather and clear skies, flaunting simple and elaborate costumes in every shade of green. Float riders were in good spirits, happily tossing out throws including candy, stuffed animals, beads, moon pies, and the much coveted cabbages. The men in their traditional finery passed out flowers from flower canes to children and ladies, with a quick peck on the cheek.
The Irish Channel St. Patrick's Day Club was founded in 1947 and currently boasts an ethnically diverse group of more than 1400 members. Their annual fundraising efforts have previously supported the Special Olympics, the Crohn's Benefit Golf Tournament for Crohn's Research, Thanksgiving food basket distributions, and the Friends of St. Alphonsus Art and Cultural Center.