BEWARE FLYING CABBAGE IN NEW ORLEANS
WCJB TV 20 News
NEW ORLEANS â€“
Hundreds of happy people pretending to be Irish for a day creates a great Saint Patrick's Day Parade anywhere in the country. But there is something noticeably different, and airborne, about the 60th annual Irish Channel Parade in New Orleans.
"It's a different kind of parade with lots of cabbage and carrots and all the ingredients for an Irish stew," said parade-goer Dennis Wordell.
Wordell estimates he has been to about 58 of the 60 St. Patrick's Day Parades in the Old Irish Channel section of New Orleans. He's seen thousands of cabbages take to the air, but can't explain exactly how it started.
"It's an old Irish tradition; corned beef and cabbage," was the best Wordell could offer.
One peek down Magazine Street at the masses lined up to see the marchers and the floats tells you being Irish is not a requirement for this parade. You don't even have to be from New Orleans.
Jeff Vaughn was born and raised in Gainesville and graduated from Gainesville High School before leaving for Louisiana State University. He plays the trumpet for his band aboard a parade float.
"I think this parade would go off very well in Gainesville," said Vaughn. "We need to have more cultural events like this in Gainesville."
The Irish Channel Parade is just one of a handful of Saint Patrick's Day parades in New Orleans that actually start a week before the big day. And that could be summed up best by one of the many marshals in the parade.
"You will catch a lot of beads and you will catch a lot of cabbage," said Mike Fahrenholt. "It's New Orleans, we parade for anything."
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