Saturday marked the 6th Annual St. Patrick's Day parade and celebration at the Blue & Gray Brewery in Fredericksburg. The day's entertainment and parade lineup were jam packed. Entertainment included historic railroad car tours, Irish dancers and musicians, Seth the Magician, and face painting for the kids (and a few adults) and lots of Irish food and Blue & Gray beer. The noon-time parade had fire trucks, classic cars, the Honor America Corps, a high school marching band, Irish dancers, military equipment and local pageant winners.
You couldn't have asked for better weather. Previous Blue & Gray outdoor events have frequently been marked by cold winds and rain, but this day was exceptional. The top of my head today is showing the effects of a day in the sun. It was great to see so many families out enjoying the parade and entertainment. I ran into many friends throughout the day. Food was plentiful and several charitable organizations were on hand to sell cookies, sodas and candy in addition to the brewery-supplied Irish fare. There were two beer stations outside the brewery so there was never a long wait for refreshment. The commemorative glasses sold out early due to their popularity. Blue & Gray festival glasses are always in high demand. (In this case brewery will be ordering more and honoring the discount coupons issued.) One of the highlights of the day was the tapping of the Minor Dementia Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout. This strongly flavored brew seemed to be quite a hit. I overheard many people discussing it and urging their friends to try it out. I enjoyed more than one pint of this special beer myself.
Congratulations and thanks go out to Jeff Fitzpatrick along with the Blue & Gray employees and volunteers who put together this fun event. It was very well-run and a large number of folks stayed from start to finish. If you missed it, I encourage you to come out next year.
I've posted more pictures from the festival here.