At the top of the morning on Saturday, March 16, 2019, Siena students and citizens of the Capital Region alike gathered in the heart of the city of Albany to celebrate Irish heritage, and many were eager to participate in the holiday spirit. Despite warmer temperatures earlier in the week, snow fell along the parade route, but the cold and gray weather did not dampen the spirits of parade-goers bathed in green as they watched various bagpipe bands, waved to some of the city’s first responders and cheered for local marching bands and Irish dance schools.
Sophomores Kiera Mitru and Rose Verdi ’21 gathered with fellow Saints to watch the parade and celebrate the luck of the Irish.
Outside of the 69th Annual Albany St. Patrick’s Day parade, other opportunities for the Capital Region to commemorate those that hail from the Emerald Isle included the North Albany Limerick Parade, a St. Patrick’s Day dinner at the Capital District Irish American Association, and several local Irish American pubs and breweries had specials with which they showcased various traditional and contemporary brews for customers to enjoy.
Siena’s campus is home to many individuals with Irish heritage, making St. Patrick’s day a cause for campus-wide celebration. With shamrocks and festive dining options around campus, the holiday spirit was alive and well among the student body and various offices. As someone that is partially Irish, having the opportunity to celebrate the beauty and strength of the Irish-American culture is empowering in many ways. Personally, being away from my Irish-American relatives during St. Patrick’s day is not ideal, but witnessing the strength and support within the Siena community has made the transition from St. Patrick’s day at home to St. Patrick’s day in Albany one filled with joy and pride in my heritage.
“I love being Irish, and I love being a part of the Siena community so an opportunity to combine the two is definitely a cause for celebration,” Megan O’Neill ’21 remarks. O’Neill and friends commemorated the holiday by enjoying Irish soda bread, singing “Moonshiner,” a popular Irish tune, and enjoying the parade in downtown Albany.
Across campus, those of Irish and non-Irish descent gathered to partake in the holiday spirit, displaying that for many, Siena College remains home and a place for celebration big or small.