When most Americans think of March, they immediately think of St. Patrick’s Day. Friends decide which bars they are going to day drink at, pubs begin to stock up on Guinness and Irish whiskey, and girls decide what article of green clothing they choose to wear this year. What most people don’t think about, however, is what IS this holiday of St. Patrick’s Day, and why do Americans celebrate an Irish holiday? Well, I am here to give you a brief history.
St. Patrick is a saint who lived in Roman Britain in the 15th century. St. Patrick was kidnapped when he was 16 and taken to Ireland as a slave. He eventually escaped, and is credited with returning to Ireland and bringing Christianity with him. It is said that St. Patrick explained the Holy Trinity by using the three leaves of the Irish clover, the Shamrock. After his death, people in Ireland have celebrated the Roman Catholic feast day, named after the saint, on his death day. However, interestingly the first St. Patrick’s Day parade took place in the USA. On March 17, 1762, Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched to music in honor of their great saint, allowing them to connect to their roots. Over the years, Irish patriotism flourished, and in 1848, several Irish societies banded together and formed the first official New York St. Patrick’s Day parade. Since then, the parade has grown, and now almost 3 million line the streets to watch the 5-hour, mile and a half long procession.
Want to do something for St. Patrick’s Day this year? Here are a few ideas:
St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Faire in Downtown Phoenix
This year, the parade will take place on Saturday, March 16 and begins at 10:00AM. The faire will take place immediately following the parade at Margaret T. Hance Park, next to the Irish Cultural Center, at N. Central Ave and W. Culver St. For a map or more information, go to this website:
St. Patrick’s Day Ultimate Block Party in Scottsdale
Every year, Scottsdale hosts a St. Patrick’s Day block party in the heart of Old Town. The party includes multiple bars, restaurants and shops, and is on Saturday, March 16th, from 3:00PM until 2:00AM. For more information, refer to:
Robbie Fox’s St. Patrick’s Day Party in Tempe
Robbie Fox’s annual St. Patrick’s Day party will be all day Saturday, March 16th. To ensure that partygoers don’t run out of beer, six large beer trucks will be on site. As if that isn’t enough, bagpipes and Irish dancers will also be making an appearance! For more information, check out their website:
Rosie McCaffrey’s Irish Pub and Restaurant in Phoenix
Want to drink like a Phoenician? Head to Rosie McCaffrey’s, located in the heart of Central Phoenix. Rosie’s has always been a local’s bar, and is the bar that is credited with bringing Guinness to the Valley. The party starts at 6:00AM and goes all day and night!
McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon at Westgate
McFadden’s will host a number of events on Saturday, March 16th, from 6:00AM- 2:00AM, including a Lucky Charm eating contest, as well as a green bikini contest. Sounds like a good time!