Skip to comments.Luck of the Irish has run out in San Antonio[No parade]
Posted on 03/14/2012 10:22:54 PM PDT by Theoria
St. Patrick's Day is Saturday, but for the first time in 44 years no street parade will celebrate Irish heritage in San Antonio.
What it comes down to, we can't afford it, said Terence Peak, president of the Harp and Shamrock Society, which organizes the popular downtown event.
Its absence once again raises irksome questions about a controversial parade ordinance passed by City Council in 2008.
The law, challenged by critics but upheld in courts, adds fees for police and barricades for most processions except for a few.
The city covers the costs of police for the Diez y Seis Parade & Festival because of its broad appeal, historic tradition, cultural significance, and other public benefits.
And it picks up the tab for police and barricades at the Martin Luther King March and the Veterans Day Parade for the same reasons, as well as their association with a national holiday or a day given statewide recognition.
The city also subsidizes the César Chávez March.
Peak wonders what makes the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade any different.
In 2009, he met with downtown officials to try to persuade them of the parade's cultural significance, especially as it relates to San Antonio.
He mentioned Hugo Oconor, a native of Dublin who was interim governor of Texas in 1768 and laid the cornerstone of Mission San José.
He recognized Fray Juan Agustin Morfi, who wrote an early history of San Antonio in 1777.
He recalled the exodus of Irish families to Texas in the 19th century, when many moved into the Irish Flats, an area of San Antonio now at the heart of downtown.
And he noted a slew of San Antonio figures of Irish descent, including Sister Margaret Mary Healy-Murphy, who founded the Sisters of the Holy Spirit, and Susan Reed, Bexar County district attorney.
I'm sorry, but that sounds pretty freaking culturally significant to me, said Peak to me, not the downtown officials.
If he sounds a little frustrated, that's just because the city seems to be telling his community that an annual celebration of their heritage is not culturally significant enough to earn its support.
Last year, a vendor that rents barricades to the Police Department informed the Harp and Shamrock Society that the cost of traffic control would increase by about $3,000 this year.
Organizer Carolyn Dowd says that brought the cost to more than $12,000 more than the volunteer organization could afford.
The escalating costs of the parade for the permit, barricades, police, insurance and the reviewing stand and lack of city support and assistance make it impossible to continue this tradition, she wrote in a letter to supporters.
The Police Department determines some costs for traffic control. But the society shouldn't count on a break from Police Chief William McManus, despite his surname and service as grand marshal in the parade a few years ago.
We work in strict accordance with the city ordinance in granting permits, he told me.
I prodded about his ancestry.
I'm not 100 percent Irish, he said. I have some German mixed in there, too.
Not that McManus should or could upend a city ordinance.
But Peak has a few more points about a disappearing St. Patrick's Day Parade.
The city needs to realize there's a population that feels like they're kind of ignored, he said. I think there will be some Irish who are disgruntled. But honestly, I think the bigger impact will be on tourism.
But fear not, Spring Break tourists the Paseo del Rio Association is maintaining its partnership with the society to dye the river green and float a smaller parade along the River Walk at 3 p.m. Saturday.
Just don't expect to see any shamrocks this year at street level.
César Chávez March
Martin Luther King March
Veterans Day Parade
Diez y Seis Parade & Festival
Schilo’s Deli is basically German but you’ll find me there..
No more parades for whitey. Not during the Error Of Obama anyway.
You can be sure a bit south of the border, there is no St Paddy's day or any other gringo parades..........San Antonio is just bowing to the inevitable Reconquista.......
We’re getting squeezed out.
do they have a gay pride parade? (and, no before any wisenheimer asks , I don’t want to go :o))...and does the city pay for that?
“Peak wonders what makes the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade any different.”
Ah, gringo - do you really have to ask?
The Harp and Shamrock is still having a celebration, though - at the Beethoven Hall in King William. Details at:
“You can be sure a bit south of the border, there is no St Paddy’s day...”
Actually, there are - look up the “San Patricio Regiment” on your favorite search engine.
Schilos Deli is basically German but youll find me there..
I’ve heard of that place. One of my brothers frequented that Deli when he was stationed in San Antonio. USAF
ireland is the only modern country in the world that has a lower population today than it did in 1840.
the ireland population still hasn’t recovered from the potato famine where 1.5 million starved to death and another 1-2 million left the country.
my upper-case key is broken.
Just get a Reuben sandwich, potato salad and a Spaten Optimator from draft in a frosted mug.
Its hard to beat.
I cant vouch for the rest.
You just made me head to the fridge. LOL
Do they do anything for Cinco de Mayo?
We can safely way Cinco De Mayo celebrations are also supported by the city. Just a hunch, but IMO it’s a safe bet.
Let’s face the facts. It’s not that the Irish contribution isn’t significant, it’s that the Hispanic populace and leaders won’t allow it.
Why it’s culturally a slap at the Hispanic community. It’s like yelling out U. S. A., U. S. A..., at a sporting event. It’s racists. /s
Get used to this type of thing folks.
but I don’t know if it is subsidized by the city of San Antonio. Not even sure where to find that info.
It looks like in 2009 the mayor of San Antonio started joining the parade. This probably means the parade is subsidized.
At least it isn’t stuck on, people would think you’re crazy.
“ireland is the only modern country in the world that has a lower population today than it did in 1840.”
At the same time it probably has the highest birth rate of “modern countries”; they were even importing workers from Eastern Europe before the world economy tanked.
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