Friday, March 9, 2018


It's the most wonderful time of the year in Savannah, Ga! Saint Patrick's Day season is here, has been here, and will be here! And our parade and crowds of the faithful are the second largest in the whole wide world! What's there not to love?

Well this! What an outrage against the Saint! Didn't St. Patrick invent kissing the Blarney Stone and other things?

Parade-goers told to stop kissing

Security concerns play a part in nixing St. Patrick’s Day tradition with soldiers

Military and Savannah St. Patrick’s Day parade officials are asking parade-goers to put away their lipstick this year and refrain from the tradition of planting kisses on members of the 3rd Infantry Division as they march during the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade.

“This is mainly about professionalism for us,” said Fort Stewart spokesman Kevin Larson.

A soldier with the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division gets kisses from parade-goers during the 2014 St. Patrick’s Day parade. Ahead of this year’s parade officials are asking parade-goers not to kiss the soldiers as they march through downtown.

“We understand the parade traditions, but our soldiers are on duty and in uniform and, frankly, red lipstick is not part of our uniform.”

For decades, wives, girlfriends and family members have broken from the crowds lining the streets to plant bright kisses on the faces of military members and Benedictine Military School Cadets as they march the parade route through downtown - leaving them quite literally red in the face by the parade’s end. In recent years the tradition has expanded to include anyone willing to pucker up.

Brian Counihan, chairman of the parade committee, recalled seeing the kissing tradition as far back as the 1970s when he marched as a BC cadet.

“It was sporadic, a few of your girlfriends and your moms would run out,” Counihan said. “In the last six or eight years, it’s come to a point where the military’s almost halted. ... It’s a fun thing, but it’s gotten out of hand.”

Counihan said having random spectators dash up to the moving parade raises safety and security concerns. Organizers also to avoid any appearance of sexual misconduct at a time when the #MeToo movement has heightened awareness.

"People can take it the wrong way," Counihan said."Somebody could run up and grab an individual and it could be considered sexual harassment if it's done improperly."

Larson said while security concerns do play a part in the new request for the military it's rooted in professionalism and the inability of soldiers to break formation.

“We do enjoy participating in the parade. It’s one of the benchmarks of our community relations calendar, but we’re just asking people to show respect for our soldiers,” Larson said.

“We can’t control other people’s behavior, but we hope they police themselves."

The 194th parade, which will be led by 2018 Grand Marshal Micheal Kenny, will kick off from Abercorn and Gwinnett Streets at 10:15 a.m. on March 17. More than 200 floats, bands, families and soldiers will participating as the parade makes its way through downtown Savannah before disbanding at Bull and Harris Streets.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.


Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

"Michael", not "Michel" Kenny. There may come a day when a woman is Grand Marshal, but we are not there yet.

We were classmates through school, two of the EIGHT Michaels in our 8th grade class!

Anonymous said...

Bee here:

The feminists HATE, HATE, HATE the very pretty and feminine ladies of the South, who dress attractively and wear red lipstick and don't mind acknowledging the difference between themselves and men. And I expect they also HATE the exhibition of what may be traditional feminine behavior such as a young lady in a nice dress kissing a young man in uniform on the cheek.

Of course, it also may well be the behavior disrupts the parade and the breaks the focus of the young men on their marching and formation, which is what the organizers claim.

But in this day and age, you never are really sure of the motives and reasons of people in charge, because they often claim one set of values, but are motivated by something completely else (such as, a fetus is just a clump of cells, not a are "racist" or a "bigot" for not agreeing with their politics...)

In any case, I hope all the St. Patrick's Day parade goers and participants have a lovely day...

God bless.

Guess Who said...

Michael, not Micheal.


Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Bee - the Request came from the Army, not "feminists."

"The Army wants to halt a favorite St. Patrick’s Day shenanigan in Savannah that for decades has left marching soldiers with lipstick-smeared cheeks."

"Fort Stewart spokesman Kevin Larson said the marching soldiers “need to look professional” and “red lipstick is not part of the uniform.”

Beyond that, "Brian Counihan is chairman of the Savannah parade’s organizing committee. He says having spectators dash into the moving parade raises safety and security concerns."

Further, "Really the worldwide situation, terrorism, you just don't want people running out to active military. It's a fun thing, but it puts them on edge and it could be a danger,” said Brian Counihan Sr., parade committee grand chairman, in an interview on the station."

The "tradition" is rather new. And, since I have marched in and been at dozens of parades here in my lifetime, it involves not a few rather drunk "pretty and feminine ladies of the South."

TJM said...

Now, if it had been men kissing men there would have been NO ISSUE.

Anonymous said...

Bee here:

Yes, Fr. Michael. You are so right, Fr. Michael. I understand, Fr. Michael. It's from the Army, Fr. Michael. The press said so, Fr. Michael, so it must be true, Fr. Michael. And there are no liberals, especially no feminist liberals, in the Army, I don't think, Fr. Michael, so the display of femininity could never be the reason to end this practice, Fr. Michael. And you are right to disparage these ladies as drunks, Fr. Michael, to drive home the point.

Thank you, as always, Fr. Michael.

God bless.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Bee - Yes, it is from the Army. Yes, it is a matter of decorum and security. Noting the facts about the "pretty and feminine ladies of the South" is not disparaging.

I've been there dozens of times. Have you?

You're very, very, welcome. Anytime. God bless.

qwikness said...

There's always something to take the joy out of life.

Rood Screen said...

Most young women are so sexual active and carry so many sexual diseases that our troops should avoid them.

Anonymous said...

Bee here:


God bless.

Tin Foil said...

If you've ever been to that Savannah parade (I have), those "ladies" who run into the street are seldom "pretty," not always "feminine" and often drunk (like most everybody on the street including, way back in the day, me). But let's construct a Froot Loop conspiracy theory rather than trust the Army.

TJM said...

Kavanaugh, in responding to Bee with your snark reply you omitted the word "drunk" which you orginally empoyed when describing the "pretty and and feminine young ladies from the South." What a sneak, girlieman and Tin Foil (and Anonymous and Pewsitter)

Anonymous said...

Girlieman TJM - Yet, you knew precisely what I was talking about, despite the absence of the word "drunk."

Isn't the power of language, and your capacity to understand it, wunnerful?

TJM said...

Kavanaugh, Tin Foil, Pewsitter, and Anonymous,

The power of your language and your capacity to understand it, is underwhelming. You're no John Nolan

Anonymous said...

I'm no John Nolan?

Well, as John might say, "Deo gratias!"

Tin Foil said...

TJM: Thank you, Every word John Nolan writes makes me thank God I’m no John Nolan.