St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner and revelers (both Irish and otherwise) are busy preparing to celebrate. According to the 2010 census, there are 36.9 million people in the United States who claim Irish ancestry. The good news is, you don’t have to be Irish in order to celebrate (after all, St. Patrick himself was actually British). In 2010, nearly half of all adults in the US donned green and tipped up a pint of Guinness in recognition of the Irish holiday. Indeed, statistics show that the number of pints of Guinness consumed worldwide increases from 5.5 million pints per day to 13 million pints on St. Patrick’s Day. This year, St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Saturday so you can celebrate freely (and, of course, responsibly).
Of course, if Guinness isn’t your thing, there are lots of alternative ways to show your Irish pride. Start the morning off right with shamrock-shaped green pancakes and a mug of Irish coffee (whiskey optional), and then get dressed up in green from head to toe and head out for one of these fun-filled activities:
The Parade: Many cities have St. Patrick’s Day parades, but there are only a select few locations that rank among America’s top 10 best on travel.usnews.com: Boston, Chicago, New York City, Savannah, San Francisco, Dublin (Ohio, that is), Philadelphia, Hot Springs, Scranton, and Kansas City. Typical parade fare includes elaborate floats, dancers, historical figures in costume, traditional Irish music (complete with bagpipes), and, of course, a bevy of beloved “gingers” (redheads).
The Barbeque: Given the popularity of the holiday, odds are the backyard BBQ will be your most inexpensive option. Whip up your favorite Irish side dish and head over to enjoy burgers, dogs, and a cold brew. Whether you’re decked out in green or you opt for that new spring dress you’ve been dying to debut, you’re sure to have a good time with friends (and avoid the crowds).
The Fancy Party: For you social climbing, non-stop networking types, try the fancy party. (Be sure to bring along a bottle of wine if you want to guarantee a future invite.) Picture green martinis like the traditional St. Patrick’s Day Emerald Isle which consists of gin, green crème de menthe, bitters, and mint leaves, and an array of delicately-crafted Irish-themed appetizers. Yum!
The Local Pub: Celebrate with the locals at an Irish pub and enjoy traditional favorites like the Irish Car bomb (a mixed shot of Irish crème and whiskey dropped into a ¾ glass of Guinness and then chugged in one gulp) and corned beef and cabbage.
Wherever your St. Patrick’s Day plans take you remember to have fun, be safe, and “never iron a four-leaf clover, because you don’t want to press your luck.”