Irish to strut their stuff in parade Saturday on Okinawa
Stars and Stripes March 14, 2008
OKINAWA CITY — Several hundred people are expected to participate in Saturday’s St. Patrick’s Day parade.
The entire length of Park Avenue will be closed for the 1-8 p.m. festivities, which include the parade.
“We expect 300 to 400 people to take part in the parade, which begins at 2:30 p.m.,” said Chikayoshi Nakahara, managing executive of the Park Avenue Business Associations, the event sponsor.
The parade will be led by bagpipers and the III Marine Expeditionary Force Band and will feature several music and dance groups. After the parade there will be live music by Irish and Okinawa bands on a stage, and a flea market. Food and drinks will be sold.
And, yes, there will be plenty of the day’s traditional green beer, supplied by Paddy Mac’s Irish Pub, Nakahara said.
Paddy Mac’s owner, Martin McIntyre, is a co-sponsor of the parade and was organizer of the first parade last year.
Nakahara said he believed the current ban on consuming alcohol off base by active-duty U.S. servicemembers would not put a damper on the festivities.
“I don’t think it will hurt,” he said. “Besides our American friends, we are also targeting Okinawans and tourists.”
The alcohol ban does not extend to civilians connected with the U.S. military.