Parade Day survival guide

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First Posted: 3/2/2015

Although the valley is bleak, gray, snowy and cold, the signs of spring are secretly all around us. Some obvious indicators are setting the clocks ahead this weekend and losing the extra hour of sleep that I consider to be the only perk to winter. The biggest indicator that spring is coming occurred this past weekend when I changed the month on my calendar. The giant glittering shamrock sticker reminded me that parade season is upon us.

As a seasoned parade day veteran, I can speak knowledgeably about the survival tactics needed to get through the month of March without needing your stomach pumped. Here’s a run-down of some guidelines for those of you who are going to your first parade or barely made it through your last one alive.

1. Know your limits. Sounds easy enough, right? Wrong! There is something about starting the day with kegs and eggs that makes even the best party girl think she can slam 20 beers and still look hot while busting a move in the Scranton dance cages without accidentally puking on an innocent bystander.

2. Scan the room sober. If they aren’t attractive now, they won’t be 5 beers later. By mid afternoon some of the strangest hook ups are happening on parade day; don’t have one without first consulting your friends. Standards. Have them.

3. Water, Water, Water. Remember to grab a bottle of water every 2 to 3 beers to stay hydrated. It will keep you from getting sick and you will appreciate that the next day because your hangover won’t be nearly as bad.

4. Bathroom lines are going to suck. This is an undeniable truth of parade day. By noon, you won’t want to sit down because the stalls are likely going to be disgusting. It’s a good idea to toss a few napkins in your purse because, later in the day, you will find the toilet paper supply to be slim. Don’t pee outside in the street, you can be ticketed.

5. Go to the ATM early. By 2 p.m., most of the ATMs are out of cash and you will find yourself venturing outside the city limits or over to the mall to get cash. Be prepared, you will have to pay cover charges to get into most of the bars so have enough cash on hand.

6. Wear obscene amounts of green. Get in the spirit. It is fun and when you look back on how ridiculous the pictures are, you will be glad you joined in on the fun. Don’t be one of the kids who’s too cool to dress up.

7. Avoid going with drama royalty. We all have friends who are part of couples who become toxic when they drink. Either they get jealous, mean or spend the whole time fighting. Consider your entourage and don’t let them ruin your good time.

8. Dance to the band, sing out loud and most importantly, tip your bartenders. They will be busting their asses to keep you entertained and with drink in hand so be sure to show them some love and appreciation.

Most importantly, have fun, be safe, call a cab or get a hotel room. Parade Day is a day for memories, not tragedies. Hope the survival guide helps and you successfully survive parade season in NEPA.