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Saturday, March 18, 2017, I attended the annual St. Patrick's Day parade, held each year in Old Town, Sacramento.  It's become a Sacramento tradition, as the parade has been happening for over 50 years. St. Patrick's Day fell on Friday this year, but the city fathers decided to hold the parade on Saturday, as more people could attend, and also to prolong the "party" atmosphere the day fosters.

I've posted 13 photos of the parade, but they only represent a small sample of what this fantastic event had to offer.  I took over 200 photos, but you can only post the highlights, and I think the posted photos provide a pretty good representation of this super-fun event.

Photo;  The parade began promptly at 1 o'clock in the afternoon with the fire department carry the colors, along with drums, bagpipes, and a detachment of folks, dressed in vintage firefighter uniforms, along with antique fire fighting equipment.

Photo:  The Sacramento Fire Department was in full force, and had a line-up of some of their equipment, which is always an attention getter.  Note the third truck, it's an actual 1947 fire truck the department keeps on hand for publicity events, such as this parade.  Not only does it run, it can still pump water, and could actually be called-up for duty, however by 2017 standards, it's sadly out-gunned.  It's maintained by volunteers, and off-duty fire fighters who donate their time to keep it in tip-top condition.

Photo:  The Caledonian Club of Sacramento, sponsor of the Sacramento Valley Scottish Games and Festival, which happens every April.  I love the "Braveheart" guy with the big sword leading the group.

Photo:  This contraption is a part of the Sactown Social Bikes, and is basically a pedaling party on wheels.  I've seen this thing on television, but not in person.  This must provide quite a ride around town.

Photo:  Dinger, the mascot of the Sacramento River Cats baseball team, struts his stuff on top of one of the team vans, as the Capital Cheer Elite Storm perform.  I placed myself in a good position, along Front Street, so I could photograph all the action with minimal interference from other parade spectators.

Photo:  A portion of the mounted Sacramento Sheriff Department rode in the parade.  The mounted deputies definitely are a great public relations tool, as the deputies are friendly, and the horses are gentle, and when the horses are stopped, they love to be petted by admirers.  However, the mounted deputies are a great resource if crowd control is ever needed.

Photo:  The colors were paraded frequently during the parade.  As a Navy veteran, and a proud American citizen, I always stand at attention, remove my hat, and place it, over my heart.

Photo:  Two members of the Old Sacramento Living History group get into a fake fistfight.  The guy in the gray suit acts as a moderator, and eventually breaks up the fight, as his frightened wife screams.  These folks are amazing, and also perform during the annual Gold Rush Days, held Labor Day Weekend in Old Sacramento.

Photo:  They're not part of the parade, but I was amused to watch this gal push her little doggie in a stroller, while the other one tagged along on a leash.

Photo:  One of the Keystone Cops rides a bicycle, and another drives a Model T.  The parade featured a whole squad of Keystone Cops, marching... well... the way Keystone Cops march.  One of them was shooting a shotgun into the air, to the delight of the crowd.  Such fun!

Photo:  Members of Cheer Sacramento, billed as "Sacramento's Charitable Cheerleaders since 1999" perform a spectacular maneuver for the crowd.  

Photo:  These guys, members of the Moustache and Beard Social Club, were hands-down, my favorite act of the parade.  The photo doesn't show it, but the gentleman to the right, with the red and gray hair, had the other side of his face painted green.  I absolutely loved these guys! I should join this fine social organization.

Photo:  The p.a. announcer, dressed his "Irish style," cat-in-the-hat type headgear, thanks the crowd for attending the annual St. Patrick's Day parade, in Old Sacramento, where Sacramento meets all things Irish.  Actually, all spectators should be thanking the City of Sacramento for bankrolling this free, family-friendly event.  Thanks!

Photo:  I guess you could call this a "steel parade," as on the way home, I couldn't resist photographing U.P. 7827 as she leads an eastbound double stack container train east, on the old Western Pacific line.  Judging by the crossing sign at the left of the photo, there is no guess as where the photo was taken.  Note the old-school signals that haven't been upgraded, as this line sees only a few trains a day, as it's a longer route over the Sierras, compared to Donner Pass.

I love a parade, and the Old Sacramento St. Patrick's Day parade, is as good as it gets, as it combines patriotism, first responders, community pride, civic organizations, and a lot of whimsical, family-friendly fun.  It's a free 60 minutes of some of the best entertainment Sacramento has to offer!

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