Seven Signs You Went to Fort Lauderdale's St. Patrick's Day Parade & Festival

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Ah, the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade! Only once a year, it is socially acceptable for the good folks of Fort Lauderdale, regardless of lineage, to gather along the downtown streets and drink the day away. (OK, there are probably a few more days where it's totally cool. This is Fort Lauderdale, guys.)

Skirted men, tiny Irish dancers, the sounds of bagpipes and drunken yelling all add to the daylong revelry. This year, the weather was prime for a good time, and if you were lucky enough to make it out, a good time it was indeed. If your weekend memories are, like mine, a bit hazy, here are seven ways to tell if you actually joined in on the festivities this year:

7. You're wearing a $12 festive headband.
And it's squeezing your head right behind your ears, giving you a massive headache. But it looks cute, and it’s definitely a conversation piece, so you keep it on. You also end up with several sets of green, sparkly shamrock beads around your neck, gifted to you by middle-aged men/women walking by and “liking what [they] see.”

6. Dogs, everywhere.
I’m sure the idea of dying a poodle green sounded good at first, but now it just looks like those people are pushing around two moldy mops in that stroller of theirs. Most of the dogs are cute, though, and a lot of the time, so are the owners, which are two excuses more than you needed to strike up a conversation with a complete stranger. So you end up making a lot of new, temporary friends and waking up Sunday morning with 35 more Instagram followers than you had the day before.

5. You’ve already had three Car Bombs and a Baby Guinness, and it’s only 1 p.m.
You have spotty memories of standing on the Royal Pig patio, sweating pure Jameson, desperately waiting for your spinach and artichoke dip to arrive so you can take the edge off a little bit. While you wait, you figure ordering one of those giant goblets of beer from the outside bar is a smart idea, until you spill it all over your chest because it’s twice the size of your face.

4. You’ve accidentally stepped on at least one toddler on your way across the street.
Luckily Mom and Dad didn’t notice, because they’re trying to navigate through the crowd to get to the cotton-candy vendor. Your wallet absorbs the karma for it, though, when you order 11 Green Tea shots at YOLO for your #squad as you try to act like someone who belongs around that many Ferraris. You only learn once that it is not worth the cool points, but hey, when in Rome, right?

3. You actually met a few real Irish people outside of Briny Riverfront.
And they weren’t impressed with your attempt at an Irish accent. But they were kind, friendly people whose jokes were probably funny, if you were able to understand anything they were saying. You regrettably chugged a pint of Guinness with them to build camaraderie right before throwing it up into the Intracoastal, right next to the Water Taxi pickup spot.

2. If you’re a girl, you had drunken, 50-something men ask you to take off your top.
Wrong parade, guys! And if you’re a dude, you likely had a cougar execute a surprisingly strong butt-grab as you walked by.

1. Your teeth are green from green beer.
But that’s not what has been killing your flirt game all afternoon. Tarpon Bend’s happy hour usually does well for you in the pickup department, but your breath from the whiskey, spinach dip, and corn on the cob you got from street vendor earlier aren’t helping. So after several failed attempts to get someone to join you on the spacious, wooden dance floor to dance to Rihanna’s “Work,” you make your Irish exit and order an Uber home. 

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