Today is Parade Day in Scranton. If you don’t know what that means – and honestly, if you’re not from the greater Northeastern PA area, why would you? – it’s the most sacred and holy day of the year, when the city of Scranton swells with an influx of revelers all here for the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. And the lunatic, inglorious amount of drinking and partying that goes with it. Mostly for the partying, actually.
To put it in perspective: on Parade Day alone, the local bars will more than make up for the entire winter slump. It’s the sort of rampant commercialism that gives the Chamber of Commerce folks a thrill just thinking about it. And I’m actually out there in the midst of it. I must be out of my mind.
Fun fact: Scranton hosts the 3rd largest St. Patrick’s Day blow-out in the nation, after Savanna, GA (#1) and Boston, MA (#2). (On a side note, I was actually in Savanna for St. P’s Day a few years back. While the rest of the region was packed into the city, doing their best to drink it dry, I went to the beach.)
Avoidance is my usual response to this kind of event. I don’t do well in crowds, and especially not in drunken mobs. In the past, as friends have swarmed into the downtown, I’ve always headed in the opposite direction, into the woods. But what the hell, I guess you have to see these things at least once.
I’ve got the 400D and 50mm f/1.8 with me. My early photojournalist roots are showing through; I can’t imagine not chronicling this. Add to which, the camera comes between the photographer and the rest of the world, like a shield. Which could be useful.