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It’s still St. Patrick’s Day in Austin

Families come together for a little bit of normal

It would have been easy to not do anything for St. Patrick’s Day Tuesday night for families on a block in southwest Austin.

After all, it’s what health and government officials have been stressing in the wake of the coronavirus, but these families decided they would celebrate anyway — with the nice practice of social distancing that is.

Dressed in bright hues of greens, kids marched down the street, celebrating in essence a missed opportunity by one family living on the block.

Dan Kosel, whose family organized the impromptu parade, and his family always made the trip to Minneapolis to take part in the St. Patrick’s Day parade, but the threat of COVID-19 shut down the parade and Kosel’s hopes of taking part in a family tradition, so instead they started a new one.

“We would have gone up this year, but when the virus cancelled it last week we decided that we’re going to do a little neighborhood parade.”

It’s more than a simple tradition to march in Minneapolis’ parade, however.

“My grandpa — GT Shaughnyssy — started the Minneapolis St. Patrick’s Day parade,” Kosel said. “The first year grandpa was marching with aunts and uncles and a police officer asked, ‘do you have a permit?’ He said, ‘no, but we will next year.’”

That same spirit guided Tuesday night’s group who walked, ran and even cart-wheeled their way down the street, waving to neighbors who came out for the pleasant, if not slightly cool night.

At its simplest, however, it was a way to be normal during a time that is very much not normal.

“From my perspective it’s about remembering that at the end of the day it’s about connecting with people and making sure every situation is enjoyable,” Kosel said.