I join with our city in thanking Grey Hammett and Pat Shingleton for giving Baton Rouge yet another wonderful St. Patrick’s Day parade. It’s amazing how far this event has come from its humble origins 28 years ago!

But a line in Mr. Hammett’s letter in the Advocate (“St. Patrick’s Parade thanks go to many,” March 20,) brought me up short. “One of the ways you measure the success of an event is the weight of the trash generated,” he writes. “Over 20,000 pounds of debris” made this year’s the most-successful parade yet. Wait a minute: more trash equals greater success? That’s a very odd metric.

It sure is fun to catch those green throws, but if you saw the aftermath of all of that success, mounds and mounds of beads and cups and other trash, you’d have called it by another name. Perhaps “environmental nightmare” or “ginormous expense for the city-parish’s trash budget.”

Just a thought: Could we celebrate the good saint and have fun, but without so much waste and excess, all of it headed straight to the landfill?

The Rev. Susie H. Thomas


Baton Rouge