The Bells of St. Mary's in downtown Natchez ring at the end of Saturday Mass as a signal for everyone to start lining Main Street and for the Krew of Killarney and assistants to gather in parade formation beside the church for the annual St. Patrick's parade. The idea is that if you want to walk in the parade, you must attend mass. But since Miss Jo and I were invited down to Natchez to participate by one of the former St. Patrick's, Judge Charlie Vess and his wife Corkey, him being an Episcopal and me being a Baptist, we decided to hang out in Bowie's Tavern until parade time instead.
Getting organized to march is half the fun of marching. It seems to be a time for visiting and seeing people you haven't seen for a long time maybe, dressing up in an outlandish costume and being green for a day.
The Krew of Killarney does more than the annual parade and isn't just full of Blarney. Rickey Warren leads up the Krew.
Warren said, "We're here for fun. Everything we do, all the money we raise is for charity. We have a local charity here, Pleasant Acre Day School, takes care of special needs children. We also have another school here, Holy Family Catholic School who is an elementary school that always needs support. And we also raise money for five seniors in our five area high schools for scholarships every year."
St. Patrick heads the parade. It's an honor bestowed on 22 Natchezians so far. This year it's Pat McDonough's turn. The duty of St. Patrick is to lead the parade through downtown Natchez to the gazebo on the bluff where he will then cast the snakes out of Natchez.
Father David O'Connor, the pastor of St. Mary's, who by the way is actually from Ireland, is also at the head end of the parade. He thought he knew me.
"I think I remember seeing you at that... what's that bar over there??..." asked Father O'Connor.
He must have been thinking about someone else waiting on a parade.
As St. Patrick stands under the gazebo, he declared, " Now I am going to go and chase the snakes once again, we have to do this every year. They keep coming back."
And with that bit of ceremony, Natchez is snake-free again for another year as St. Patrick shakes the snakes off his shillelagh at the back of the gazebo toward Louisiana. And as some friends sing happy birthday to me, one of the few real Patricks in the parade, former St. Pat Bob McWilliams sums up the day, "If you're not an Irish, you don't know what you're missing."
Sunday, May 19 2013 5:35 PM EDT2013-05-19 21:35:57 GMT
A body discovered in Clinton Saturday night has led to a homicide investigation. Hinds County Coroner Sharon Grisham Stewart confirms a body was discovered, although few other details are known. The bodyMore >>
Clinton Police Department's Interim Chief Mike Warren said upon further investigation, it appears an disagreement over a woman may have led to the death of a Jackson man.
Saturday, May 18 2013 10:00 PM EDT2013-05-19 02:00:02 GMT
Observers are predicting a speedy confirmation to the federal bench for Jackson attorney Debra M. Brown. If confirmed, Brown would become the state's first black female district judge. Carl Tobias, aMore >>
Observers are predicting a speedy confirmation to the federal bench for Jackson attorney Debra M. Brown.More >>
It's all about the odds, and one lone ticket in Florida has beaten them all by matching each of the numbers drawn for the highest Powerball jackpot in history at an estimated $590.5 million, lottery officials...More >>
Some lucky person walked into a Publix supermarket in suburban Florida over the past few days and bought a ticket now worth an estimated $590.5 million - the highest Powerball jackpot in history.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:16:53 GMT
One person has died in a crash near Harrisonville, MO, Thursday evening. The crash happened on Missouri Highway 7 and Walker Road. It involved a car and a tractor-trailer. Harrisonville is in Cass County.More >>
Savannah Nash celebrated her 16th birthday last week. She died Thursday when her car slammed into a semi while she was texting during her first time driving by herself.More >>
Thursday, May 16 2013 7:38 AM EDT2013-05-16 11:38:49 GMT
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - An Army wife who lost over 100 pounds while her husband was away in Afghanistan surprised the soldier Wednesday when he arrived at Wilmington International Airport. Misty Shaffer,More >>
A soldier from Wilmington returns from Afghanistan to a big surprise: a new wife, a new house and a different child.More >>
Inmates at jails in Indianapolis, Baltimore, St. Louis and Philadelphia face the nation's highest levels of sexual abuse at the hands of guards, according to a new federal report based on surveys of inmates at...More >>
Inmates at jails in Indianapolis, Baltimore, St. Louis and Philadelphia face the nation's highest levels of sexual abuse at the hands of guards, according to a new federal report based on surveys of inmates at U.S. jails.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 8:20 PM EDT2013-05-19 00:20:30 GMT
An accident combined with interstate roadwork causes headaches for motorists Saturday afternoon in Rankin county. Traffic was practically brought to a standstill on I-20 in Pearl at the Airport Road exitMore >>
An accident combined with interstate roadwork causes headaches for motorists Saturday afternoon in Rankin County.More >>
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