St. Patrick’s festivities missing parade

By: Melody Stone Journal staff writer
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On previous St. Patrick’s Days a parade graced the Downtown and Old Town districts of Auburn. But this year the Irish might not be so lucky. There’s always been a strong Irish presence in America’s fire and police departments; Auburn is no different, Auburn Fire Capt. Tom Carlisle said. Normally the Auburn Fire Department organizes the St. Patrick’s Day parade, but this year it might not happen due to lack of interest. Williamson is the chairman of the parade committee and said he couldn’t find anyone to help organize the event this year. “Not that we don’t want to do it this year, it just didn’t happen,” Williamson said. Carlisle has participated in the San Francisco St. Patrick’s Day parade every year for the past ten years, this will be his 11th . Retired Battalion Chief Kurt Taylor, Engineer John Williamson, Retired Battalion Chief John Bailey, and retired Captain Herb Yue and their “beautiful brides” ride a 1940 Auburn fire engine through the streets of San Francisco to celebrate Irish heritage and support northern California firefighters. “I’m typical American, a little of this and little of that,” Carlisle said, but on St. Patrick’s Day he’s more Irish than not. Carlisle said he has faith the community will have a St. Patrick’s Day parade despite lack of planning. “If I had to guess I would say a bunch of rabble-rousers will show up at 5:15 at the Chamber of Commerce and we’ll have a parade that follows the traffic signals,” Carlisle said. “Sometimes the most fun parades are the ones that aren’t planned.” Placer County Historical Society President Michael Otten said Auburn saw some Irish settlers in the early day of the railroad. “We know there was (an Irish) contingent that worked on the railroad,” Otten said. The railroad companies eventually replaced the Irish with Chinese. The Chinese drank tea, which was heated and killed bacteria, so they were healthier, Otten explained. The history of St. Patrick’s Day isn’t as important to Stinky Mulligan’s manager Rebecca McGuire as the time with family and friends. The Lake of the Pines resident is close to half Irish and her husband is more than half Irish. “Our kids all have Irish eyes,” McGuire said. When her kids were younger they’d pull out the St. Patrick videos and talk about the story of the saint, but now her kids are older it’s mostly about getting together and eating corn-beef and cabbage. “We’re probably more of a melting pot. We’ve had a little bit of every culture here,” Otten said about Auburn having some Irish heritage. “You know the old saying, we’re all Irish on St. Patty’s Day.” Who was St. Patrick? St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland and the anniversary of his death is celebrated on March 17. As a teen-ager the British-born Patrick was taken prisoner by Irish raiders after his wealthy family’s estate. The raiders transported him to Ireland where he worked as a shepherd and found a devout faith in Christ. After six years of captivity Patrick felt God’s voice calling him to escape and he walked 200 miles to Britain. Upon returning to Britain Patrick entered the clergy and trained as a priest for 15 years before getting ordained and being sent back to Ireland both to minister to the Christian minority in Ireland and convert the Irish people to Christianity. (Information provided by Auburn St. Patrick’s Day Festivities Auburn Education Foundation will hold an annual St. Patrick’s Day dinner, Wednesday, at Auburn Elementary, (530) 887-1958. Proceeds go to the Auburn Union School District. Club Car bar and restaurant will serve traditional Irish favorites, Wednesday. Local band, the Doubleshots, will perform. (530) 887-9732. The Colfax Ladies Auxiliary to Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 2003 will host their 10th annual St. Patrick’s Day Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner March 20 at the Colfax Veterans Memorial Hall. The event begins at 6 p.m. Dinner tickets purchased or reserved by March 16 are $13 for adults, $6 for children under 12. Children under 5 are free. Tickets purchased after March 16, or at the door are $1 more. Tickets may be purchased from any Auxiliary member or by calling 745-3510. Stinky Mulligan’s in Lake of the Pines will offer a traditional Irish dinner, along with a karaoke party, featuring lots of green drinks. No cover, but green apparel is required.