We woke up in the morning and readied our children. The weather called for rain and thunderstorms, but we were determined that Mother Nature would not be making decisions for us. So, we got on the road bright and early in hopes of getting a good spot for the glorious Fredericksburg St. Patrick's Day parade. We were all very excited and we really built the parade up in our kids' minds because we knew it might be cold and damp, but it could really be worth it.
|Perhaps it wouldn't be as awesome as the rain felt for Andy Dufresne.|
|Irish Eyes - a very cool shop for all of your Irish needs and desires|
So, we show up in historic downtown to find the streets are virtually empty. There are no people waiting patiently on the sidewalks. There are no streets blocked off for the parade. It appeared that we may have gotten the date wrong! Luckily, Angela went into the tourist center to get more information. She was then informed that the parade was not taking place downtown. This was strange because this seemed like the ideal spot for a parade. It was being held on Main Street. We know what you are thinking; Main Street should be downtown, right? Nope.
We ventured away from the quaint downtown area to find Main Street. It was not located in a central location like the name would imply. It was in an industrial area surrounded by train tracks, factories, and distilleries. "Main Street" was the main thoroughfare for this industrial complex not the city. We drove very slowly through the area debating whether we should turn back or not. We chose to keep going because we were told that children's activities were beginning at 11. At the very least, our children could get some fun in with that.
|This is Main Street - to your right, train tracks, left and forward - industrial buildings. Be sure to visit the gift shop!|
We stood around very awkwardly and then decided to go and wait for the parade. We did get a chance to visit the Railway Workers Museum and this was the highlight of our trip. We had a chance to walk on some old train cars and take a real look around in some cabooses and other cars. There were some really nice volunteers there that talked to us about all of the inner workings of the train cars. The kids had a ton of fun and it was really interesting. If you are in the area and you have some time we recommend stopping by and checking it out. They have a small train that takes you up and down the tracks that runs on Saturday for some extra fun. Here are some pictures from the day:
After looking at the train cars the time for the parade had finally arrived. We waited with such excitement because we knew that our four year old son could barely contain himself. Then, we see the first sign of the parade with a man on a horse followed by a bagpipe band donning traditional Celtic dress. A few fire trucks and ambulances followed along with some dancers and a motorcycle club. A vintage Delorean carried the 2008 Miss Virginia International, Joy Pfister. There was only one float which represented one of the breweries along the parade route. Then, the parade was over. Well, perhaps we are overselling it. The parade only took 10 minutes. That is not an exaggeration. 10 minutes. We give the people who participated praise because they did put their hearts into it. We also were grateful for all of the people who showed up because they seemed to really enjoy themselves. However, we were taken aback by the small nature of the event given the perceived large Irish community in the area. Bummer!
|2008 Mrs. Virginia International and the Delorean were the highlight of the parade|
After lunch, we stopped by Colonial Cupcakes for an after lunch dessert. The kids had some really good sugar cookies and Bryan had two cupcakes: S'mores and Pancake and Bacon. Weird, huh? It was really good though!
Before heading back to the townhome, we stopped by the lot just to see if anything was happening. Well, there was something happening, but we could only guess what it might be. There was a small excavator that appeared to be digging around the pipes for the fire hydrant. There was also a new blue wooden sign on the lot. Both of these things caught our attention because it seemed like Drew was right. Work was on its way!
|Digging around the hydrant. Notice the peculiar blue sign.|
|There's our sold sign and the excavator in the background.|
So, we await the word for when the ground breaking will actually begin. Curse you, county permit people!