5 Reasons Why Cedar Rapids Is The Best St. Patrick’s City In Iowa
A blog called "The Niche" recently released a list of the 10 best cities in the US to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. It contained quite a few big name cities like Chicago, St. Louis, Boston, Philadelphia, etc. Surprisingly, it also contained an Iowa city. Even more surprising, it wasn't Cedar Rapids. What?!?!
The blog looked at 4 things: % Irish population, the year the parade was established, access to bars, and St. Patrick's Day Facebook hype. If they think Cedar Rapids doesn't beat the QC for these items, I call blasphemy. For this week's Tuesday Top 5, let's look at the top reasons why.
This Niche blog apparently is giving Davenport high marks for having a parade since 1986. Whoop-de-doo. The Cedar Rapids Parade celebrates its 41st year this year, as our first parade was in 1976, 10 years earlier. And it's complete with not just a parade queen, but an Irish Colleen. We owe it all to something we're sure Davenport doesn't have: a committee with a cool name who's sole purpose is to have this parade = SaPaDaPaSo (Saint Patricks Day Parade Society). They even have a parade day dress code: white lab coats. I'll bet Davenport doesn't top that.
On St. Patrick's Day, it's few and far between that you'll find someone downtown who has not had at least a beer. There are more than enough bars that spectators have access to, especially all along the parade route, if not a few blocks away, including many Irish bars. There's also an entire Irish District not too far from downtown. And of course, there's plenty of green beer to be consumed.
Thanks to SaPaDaPaSo and Lion Bridge Brewery in Czech Village, this year marks the second year of our very own SaPaDaPaSo Olde No. 17 Irish Potato Stout. It was something brewed only last year in limited release, until it went over so well, that they brought it back for this year. Top that Davenport!
Other than the fact that like everyone is at the parade and posting pics of it, your local facebook feed will be loaded with St. Pats photos and talk on St. Patty's Day. However, maybe not everything is tagged #StPatricksDay because in Cedar Rapids we use #SaPaDaPaSo. That's probably the biggest reason we didn't rank higher on this report.
Yes, we celebrate on the holiday itself, but we don't stop there. We start more than a week before St. Patrick's Day with the SaPaDaPaSo "Hooley", including our own official St. Patty's band, Wylde Nept. The sole purpose of the Hooley is to make sure everything is ready for the holiday. In other words, we party to celebrate the coming party. Then, the Saturday before, on St. Practice Day, is the Cedar Rapids Beer Summit, all themed for St. Patricks Day including a costume contest, and 3 hours all-you-can-sample to build up your tolerance. And the next day, it's the Annual Bar2Bar 5k through the Irish District. And again, this is all BEFORE the holiday itself. Of course, there's the SaPaDaPaSo official parade after party and awards too.