Each year, on St Patrick’s Day, the city of Rochester, NY, the home of Sutherland Global Services headquarters, turns green. The celebrations kicked off at 9am with the Annual St Patrick’s Day Mass at St Mary’s Church in downtown Rochester. This was followed by a raising of the flags ceremony at the County Office Building. Finally, we get to the main event of the day – The St Patrick’s day Parade!
The Parade started shortly after noon. By then, many of the over 100,000 spectators have been drinking for several hours. Fittingly, a loud and joyous atmosphere greets the participants, who number over 4,000! The parade includes dancers from seven schools, 19 marching bands, several fire departments and numerous veteran, community, and government organizations. The celebrations continue long after the Parade is over, in the Bars and Halls around Rochester.
So let’s compare our hometown St Patrick’s Day festivities to one in another SGS location: London, England.
The London Parade fittingly started at Green Park (the official color of the Irish), and ends at Trafalgar Square, where the Festival is held to celebrate Irish culture in England. Typically, the festival in London hosts crowds over 5 times as large as the Rochester event, and second in size only to Dublin and New York City. Each year a Grand Marshal is chosen to lead the parade through the streets of London. The 2015 Parade was led by world boxing champion Barry McGuigan!
At Trafalgar Square, both marchers and spectators gather to enjoy Irish food and festivities. A 20 foot statue of St Patrick stands at the center of it all. Surrounding that are children’s activities, arts and crafts, and lots of Irish community organizations.
In addition to the Festival, the entire weekend holds Irish events, including Heritage Walks, a Film Festival, and an Irish Tea Dance at Westminster Cathedral Hall. With Rochester’s parade lasting just one day, it’s possible to attend the parade in our hometown, and then catch a flight across the pond to join the celebrations in London. Now if only we can get our boss to approve an international flight…