Burlington’s St. Patty’s Day Tradition

by Gray Cargill on March 17, 2009

SD Ireland truck

Some cities have huge parades with floats to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, some cities color their park fountains green to mark the occasion.  We have our own tradition in Burlington.  It’s kind of a Vermont thing.  As in “only in Vermont would they do something like this!”

Every St. Patrick’s Day at 3pm for the past 20 years, the S.D. Ireland Company’s cement trucks, with their bright green shamrocks on the sides, have gone rolling down Main Street to Church Street (they also go through Winooski), honking their horns and creating their own parade.  It probably sounds strange to anyone who hasn’t seen it, but it’s something many of us really look forward to.  It puts a smile on my face and gives me an excuse to get up from my desk at work, go outside for a few minutes if it’s nice or to the window if it’s not.  Today, it was a perfect reason to go outside and enjoy the warm, sunny day and take a few pictures.

The Ireland company doesn’t just put on this parade because of their name, or to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, or even as publicity for their company. They also use it as a fundraiser for cancer research.  It may not be the biggest or best St. Patrick’s Day tradition out there, but it’s ours–and I’m pretty fond of it. In addition to supporting a very worthy cause, the parade is a simple, yet effective gesture to remind us all of the community we are a part of. At this time of year, on the far edge of winter, it reminds us spring is (finally!) around the corner. This time of year in Vermont, we can’t always count on sunny, 57-degree days.  This time of year, it’s always nice to have a reason to smile.  Call me easy, but the honking horns and the bright green shamrocks on the cement mixers do it for me every time.

Thanks, S.D. Ireland.

SD Ireland supports cancer research

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