Cheapskate's Guide to St. Patty's Day: How To Hijack a Parade Float
Don't worry throngs of partiers; we'll throw you something.
Being on a float in the St. Patrick's Day parade feels like being a minor celebrity for about an hour. People cheer for you like you're Princess Kate, or better, like you're Pippa's rockin booty, laced in Jell-O shots. But this year my friends and I realized that we didn't have an invitation to float fame, so 12 hours before parade launch we hatched a plan: Commandeer a float in the St. Patrick's Day parade using only our wits. Here's how to do it.
1.) Bring currency
There's always room for Jell-O, especially when it's fashioned tidily in little plastic cups and loaded up with vodka. We started a make-shift Jell-O shot factory in our party-girl test kitchen and wound up with dozens upon dozens of those little green monsters. Wrap 'em up in plastic and toss them in a backpack and you're ready to mingle.
2.) Know the logistics
The Sam's up on N. Central Highway is the organizational nexus. Doloreans filled with balloons, cheerleaders practicing basket tosses and mischievous Shriners in go-carts all fill out a loose formation in this parking lot. Just show up, but get there by 10:45 a.m. so that you have a couple of minutes to assess the scene before the floats start moving.
3.) Be a girl
If this isn't possible for you, well, I'm sorry. If you are a girl, congratulations! You're getting on a float, especially if you bring a couple of awesome ladies with you. Three girls total is the perfect amount because you don't take up too much space but you also don't appear out of place.
4.) Make friends with whomever seems fun
Real-life superheroes saved our day.
A lot of floats are insular groups -- avoid those. If they're wearing matching T-shirts, just write them off. We made friends with Batman. He, the Green Lantern and the Joker had a pretty rockin' stretch Hummer in the parade. The goal of their non-profit group Heroes, Cops and Kids is to connect with youth and instil positive values in ways youth can connect with -- pretty rad. Also, kinda hot. Anytime you can party with men in uniform -- and that uniform is geeky -- that's a day well-spent.
5.) Wave like you're a pageant queen.
Absorb all of that applause that's intended for the superheroes in front of you and the Shriners behind you as you're whisked -- ever so slowly -- down Greenville in your float chariot. Tuck that adoration away in your heart's nightstand so that someday when you're feeling blue you can open the memory and bask in it. Bad day at the office? Tune it out to the sounds of hundreds of thousands of people cheering for you.
6.) Have an amazing cab driver
We did this parade for pennies, so splurging on a cab was a no-brainer -- besides, we have a lady. Darene dropped us off in the morning and with 20 minutes' notice she swooped in to protect us throughout our day's adventures. She gave us bottles of water and deposited us at our various post-parade destinations. She was our guardian angel in a yellow van. Her number is in the comments.