Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Guest Columnist Sarah Lockwood Shares "Three Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day"

Being Irish, my friend Sarah Lockwood has a lot to say about her ancestry and traditions. She doesn't love the drinking associated with St. Patrick's Day, and asked me if I'd feature her article on Three Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Being married to a half-Irish lass myself, I of course said aye. Enjoy!
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The first thought generally associated with St. Paddy’s Day is chug-til-you drop drinking. While that may be a good time for the masses, some people want to celebrate "the luck of the Irish" sans alcohol.

Whether you are underage, in addiction recovery, or a parent looking for more family-based activities, here are some fun, unconventional ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s day.

Host a Sober St. Patrick’s Day Event

Sober St. Patrick’s Day is a nonprofit organization that offers family-focused events to celebrate the Irish holiday. It was created by television producer William Spencer Reilly, who almost lost a family member to addiction in 2004. Their motto is to “reclaim the true spirit of the day” and honor Irish heritage, rather than using St. Paddy’s day as an excuse to get drunk.

These events are gaining popularity as they have been celebrated in NYC, Dublin, Philadelphia and Richmond, VA. Typically an event consists of entertainment from world class musicians, singers and dancers. If this event has yet to be hosted in your city, no worries! The committee members of Sober St. Patrick’s Day welcome organizations and individuals to host these events worldwide. For a nominal licensing fee, you will be granted permission to use the Sober St. Patrick’s Day name. Visit the organization’s website to plan an event in your city.

Host an Irish-themed dinner party

Why not use St. Patrick’s Day to learn and cook a few new recipes? Have fun and dig into the tradition of the Irish by eating Irish food--which is much more than corned beef and cabbage. 

In Ireland, they enjoy dinners served with roasted potatoes, peas, carrots and gravy. Apple tart made from scratch with local apples and homemade pastry is a great end to a fabulous dinner. A quick online search yields plenty of results for dishes you can make to celebrate the holiday in a way more traditional to the Irish.

After you and your guests have indulged in a hearty meal, burn off a few calories by playing a few St.Patrick’s Day-themed games like pin the tale on the leprechaun, or have a dance-off while listening to a few Irish Folk tunes.

Read Irish myths and legends

Storytelling is a rich tradition in Ireland, and many stories are compiled into book form. The Druids and Celts believed ferociously in the power of magic; many of those beliefs spread to the legends that are told today. Cozy up with your loved ones and embark on a fun-filled storytelling journey. There are even tales for the kids.

With a little planning on your part, you can start a new St. Patrick’s Day tradition that's a part of your family tradition for years to come.