Growing Up a Scrantonian on Parade Day

When the show The Office said “ain’t no party like a Scranton party cause a Scranton party don’t stop,” they meant it. From a young age, you learn that the Scranton party starts specifically the Saturday before St. Patrick’s as it is every Scranton area kid’s favorite holiday. When I say “Scranton” kid, I mean born and raised here. Scranton, Pennsylvania is not only home to the television show, The Office but it is home to one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day parade celebrations in the country and the people there make it quite a party. 

            “Parade Day,” as we call it in Scranton, features a LOT of people ranging from little kids trying to catch candy, parade day walkers, performers, heavily intoxicated adults, drunk college students and spectators. You will be sure to see it all. A parade happens downtown while all the bars are open. Another aspect of the parade is The University of Scranton, while it’s not a huge school, the parade day parties are so big that Clay Avenue is shut down. 

            I attend the University of Scranton, but I also grew up here locally. Parade day is experienced at all ages of your life. From a young age, you go to the parade with your family and friends then as you get older you still attend but don’t pay as much attention because you see all your friends there. Sometimes you’re even in the parade as well for businesses or high school activities. Growing up here and going to college here has made me realize one thing; parade day means the most to us locals. 

            A lot of university students who didn’t grow up here look at it as another excuse to party starting early in the morning until late at night but for us locals we count down the days until parade day every year. Being a local, I forget I even attend the university because I feel like I’m at home with all my hometown friends celebrating the event we look forward to most, it’s definitely special to us. It’s a day that brings all the homegrown Scranton area kids back to the area to have fun together. While there are quite a few school districts in the Scranton area, it’s still a small area where everyone knows everyone and if you don’t know a person yet, you’ll meet them on parade day. 

            When presented with this week’s theme of “Luck of the Irish” I knew I wanted to write about growing up as a Scrantonian on parade day because it’s something that has given be so many memories in my lifetime thus far. It’s definitely something I miss attending because of the COVID-19 pandemic but soon enough all of us Scranton area kids will be back (hopefully safe and healthy) celebrating the event that we countdown to every single year. In honor of the parade being postponed until September 2021 instead of March 13, 2021, I decided to ask all my Scranton area friends from multiple school districts for some quotes on parade day. 

Here they are:

 

“Electric”… punny I guess, but very true. 

 

“The vibes are so good on parade day. Warm weather, crisp air, nice breeze, (usually there’s nice weather but sometimes it’s freezing yet everyone still shows up) makes you feel good. Watching everyone from Scranton come to Scranton is a good feeling and makes me proud to be from here” 

 

“It’s like Christmas morning!”

 

“I literally countdown until that day.”

 

“I wake up with my blood pumping ready to go” … this one may be a little dramatic but honestly kind of relatable. 

 

“Parade day equals the feeling of an inside joke or memory that only real Scrantonians share and it brings us together.”

 

“I can’t put the feeling of parade day morning into words… the minute your alarm goes off, it’s just better than Christmas morning.”

 

“The vibes of parade day are just always good, and I look forward to it all year.”

 

“Most magical day of the year, better than any other holiday.”

 

“Parade day vibes are immaculate.” 

 

“It’s a crazy time in Scranton on Parade Day. I’ve been going since I was a freshman in high school and I’ll probably be going until I have children. Seeing everyone in huge backyards with your friends is so fun.”

 

“The best day of the year, where it doesn’t matter who you are or where you are from, everyone just celebrates together.”

 

There were many other quotes, but these were just a few. As you can see parade day is lots of fun, but one common thought was that this event brings everyone together to celebrate. In the world we live in, it’s a nice thought to see everyone come together regardless of any drama or situations and just celebrate the holiday we grew up knowing as a local Scranton kid.

 

There is nothing quite like the excitement of putting on your months-in-advance planned-out outfit on parade day morning at 6 A.M. ready to start the day with your best friends and see your fellow locals. It’s really the best feeling, and I miss it but parade day, until we meet again. We’ll see you on September 18th, bright and early, be ready because I know we’re more than ready for you.