Monday, March 22, 2010

Butte for St. Pat's

As promised, here are my thoughts on Butte for St. Pat's:

1. Lots of people.
2. Lots of people wearing green.
3. Lots of people sporting outlandish costumes.
4. Lots of beer.
5. Lots of drunk people in green holding said beer.
6. Lots of drunk people in green holding said beer as they mill about, wearing outlandish costumes.

Of course, this should come with no surprise. After all, St. Patrick's Day is the only holiday I can think of that exists solely to get drunk (preferably with green beverages). Even Mardi Gras has some beads and jazz music involved.

My friend John and I arrived at Butte at 2 pm and left at 5 pm. We purposefully went for only the afternoon, as we had no desire to be there (or on the surrounding roads) after dark.

Our first stop was for delicious burgers at Metals, a neat restaurant that used to be a bank (I guess). Then we headed out to the street and sat on a bench to people-watch.

And there were plenty of things to be seen, I assure you. Though it was only the middle of the afternoon, there were hundreds of people already walking about. The crowds were most dense outside the doors of bars, but the alcohol wasn't limited to establishments alone. Everywhere outside, people were carrying around cans and cups. Beer was the most popular beverage of choice, naturally.

My friend Alice had warned me before I left to be prepared for "nudity and public urination." When I mentioned to my friend Michelle that we were headed to Butte for the day, she asked if my escort was a big guy and if he could protect me in a fight against the locals (I couldn't tell if I was the one getting in the hypothetical fight here...).

Needless to say, none of the above proved true for the time we were there. However, the day was still young when we departed, and as people were already well on their way to a night of revelry, these things were still a possibility.

But the closest encounter we had with nudity was a large burly man whose kilt showed far too much leg (think mini skirt). And our unexpected brush with the locals was a random gift of green beads "for the lady" from a skinny drunk man who swooped in with a toothy grin. Hardly intimidating.

Overall, it was an enjoyable time of good company and entertaining people-watching. I'm sure that I will never be coming back to Butte for St. Patrick's Day, but I feel I can say with certainty that I have now seen "Butte, America" at its finest.

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... A few thoughts to pass the time...