Only two weeks into the 2008 season, Baltimore's Marching Ravens stepped out on Sunday, March 16, to perform in the Baltimore St. Patrick's Day Parade.
The parade began at 2 p.m. at the Washington Monument in Mount Vernon, traveled South along Charles St. and down Pratt St. The 98-unit lineup included City police and fire departments, military groups, bagpipers, fife and drum groups, community and high school marching bands, floats, politicians, and several Irish heritage groups.
Baltimore's Irish population (and all other area residents who pretend to be Irish for the day) crowded the streets to take in the two hour-plus parade. The sidewalks were a sea of green, save for a few Ravens faithful who eschewed the shamrocks and beer mug-shaped hats in favor of team gear.
As the leading marching band in the parade, the Marching Ravens performed the National Anthem of Ireland and the Star Spangled Banner at the Pratt St. reviewing stand. The band also played the Ravens Fight Song and Danny Boy, a traditional Irish song.
The Marching Ravens have been a continuous part of the city's celebration since its inception 50 years ago. In 2007, the band took first place in the Marching Band/Drum and Bugle Corp category.
Baltimore's Marching Ravens will next be seen in action at four Baltimore-area Fourth of July parades: Dundalk, Towson and Catonsville on July 4, and Havre de Grace on July 5.