Green, more green and even green beer flow heavy this time of year in Rockford but it’s at the peak of the color green today at the St Patricks day parade.
For the last two years Joseph Goral, one of the men behind the whole parade, has had me come out and help marshall as well as photograph the event from the unique perspective of physically being in the parade. You honestly don’t get better seats to something like this. This year I got to rock the marshall duties form the front group with all the bagpipe players, dancers and all the big horses trotting through the city streets.
This year also had an extra special event that Joe wanted me to capture. His good buddy and bagpiper Aaron Kerr planned an elaborate and amazing proposal to happen at the busiest of all areas of this awesome parade. Oh the joys of being a photographer at the right place and the right time.
If you’ve never worked behind the scenes of a parade it’s basically putting people into the order in which they are supposed to be in all ahead of time. After they are all in place and you say a few prayers all you have to do is monitor the situation and make sure everyone heads out in the correct order. This may seem easy but people tend to make mistakes regardless of the planning in place so thankfully they have the best of the best making sure everyone heads out in order. Btw, that means not me.
Every year the action begins right out front of Katie’s Cup, an awesome local coffee shop, and heads down 7th street in order to connect to Rockford’s most popular road, East State Street. Once on State the crowd grows from a teeny amount to a small swarm. Stretching from staple Rockford places like Uncle Nick’s all the way down block 5 featuring Social and Abreo, it’s amazing seeing all the people cheering, smiling and enjoying the show.
The weather this year was showing snow on the forecast but we actually had a super pleasant day and even though it was only 40 degrees it felt so much nicer with the sun poking out every once in a while. Mind you that last year it felt like icicles were forming on my hands while my beard, that was colored green, I believe had icicles on them in the end.
Now before I close this blog article down let’s throw a few shout outs in here. First and foremost goes to Aaron Kerr and Kate Spate. Such an amazing proposal and so glad Joe Goral hit me up about this so I could be there to capture it. I wish you both a fantastic future together and may your hearts always be together as one. Next up is the entire Goral family for always including me on the parade and hiring me on as their photographer. Last but not least is Mic Steede of Michael Steede Photographics who came out and was my long lens for the day. I don’t have anything beyond 105mm in my camera bag since I’m a wedding and portrait guy so it’s good to know extremely tall people with big glass.
Another great year and another great parade filled with awesome people and tons of smiles. I can not wait till next year!
I guess you should all checkout these pics now and if you are looking for more check out the entire gallery right here: St Patricks Day Parade 2014 Gallery