This year I was seized with an urge to attend the parade on St Patrick's Day. I hadn't been for 20 odd years and the last time I went it consisted of some bands, some majorettes shipped from overseas and some random Americans. (Being American was so glamorous in our eyes that it seemed obvious that any American tourist should be eligible to march in the parade.) I also remember it being very cold and not being able to see much over people's heads.
So what's changed? Well, the parade now consists of lots of street-theatre style floats paying tribute to Celtic mythology (and also, confusingly, this year there was a Science theme so you got Vikings explaining where electricity comes from...), plus bands, majorettes, dancers and my Cousin John playing a drum in a boiler suit. (I said to my friend, 'hey, that guy looks like my Cousin John', then got home and spoke to John's sister and discovered that it was, in fact, he. Ireland is ridiculously small.)
You'll note that I still had to peer over people's heads.
I was glad I went, though obviously what I should have brought was my own ladder (excellent example of Dublin ingenuity):
However, when I went home and watched Flight of the Doves I realised that in my heart of hearts, the parade I was hoping for looks something like this: