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St Patrick's Day Brings a Crowd to Pershing Square

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Monday, March 17, 2008, at 11:15PM
Packed at Pershing Ed Fuentes

L.A.'s St Patrick's Day Parade is a small town gathering compared to celebrations held in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, and Ireland. There was still a few empty blocks near the Civic Center, and road closures had commuters snarling on the freeway.

The annual parade is growing in spirit, and may be two marching bands short of being a full fledged parade. Still, it's fun to see a few celebrities who played officers in film and T.V. join in, kids waving at the firemen, and seeing what parade watchers dare to wear.

This year's St. Patrick's Day Parade crowd drew even from the Valley and Westside, the trip Downtown offering the opportunity to bask in some Irish pride. There was confetti in Gilville, Latino shoppers lined up on 5th near Broadway, and in Pershing Square an actual crowd arrived to listen to the Young Dubliners.

As usual, the parade fleet included a few curious entries, like the truck for radio’s El Cucuy, or the sanitation truck whose only real connection to the day was that it was green. The sanitation truck I can almost understand, as St Patrick's Day and bagpipes not only represent Irish Heritage, but police, fire and increasingly now all civil servants.

Changes: Last week, it was announced that LAPD Chief William Bratton has reassigned Commander Andrew Smith to serve as commanding officer for Operations-South Bureau Criminal Gang Homicide Group. Central Division’s Captain Michelle Veenstra, one of two officers to replace Smith when he was upgraded from Captain to Commander, is upped to Captain II assigned to LAPD Training Division.

A familiar face in Little Tokyo has been Commander Terry Hara, currently assigned to Employee Relations Group (and also VP of the Nisei Week Foundation). He will be promoted to Deputy Chief assigned to West Bureau.

Smith will no longer have Downtown presence, so all of us at blogdowntown who have had the chance to get to know him through the last few years certainly wish him well in his new post.

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