[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/03/17/art.st.patricks.dublin.jpg caption="The St. Patrick's Day parade in Dublin, Ireland."]
Greetings from Ireland!
As the locals say, I'm on holiday in Dublin with family. It's been a grand time (more local speak). We are part of the estimated half a million people who lined the streets of Dublin today for the parade down O'Connell Street and beyond.
The crowd is very festive. A lot of green, white and orange can be seen throughout the city. Plus, shamrocks painted on faces and "Kiss me I'm Irish" pins and T-shirts. I'd bet about 60 percent of the crowd is American. The locals aren't complaining. They're making a lot of money. It will come in handy.
The worldwide recession has hit Ireland hard. I read in the local newspaper, Ireland's unemployment rate is nearly 11 percent. By comparison, it's about 8 percent in the U.S.
When times were good, the Republic of Ireland was known as the "Celtic Tiger". Well, the tiger is no longer roaring. But, on this St. Patrick's Day, there's no talk of the bad economic situation. Today is a day to celebrate Irish history and heritage – whether your Irish (like me) or not.
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
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