It’s that time of year again, when we turn the waters green, to celebrate a saint that made history when he banished all the snakes from Ireland. The legend, a metaphor of Christianity fighting against pagan Druid rituals, is still at the core of Patrick’s sainthood and mission in the country. And while for Ireland March 17 is a liturgical holiday, in other countries this is a celebration of Ireland and its people.
Numerous countries around the world celebrate the Irish legacy dressed up in Irish green, with copious flows of green and Irish beer, parades, music and all-nigh parties. The United States have been celebrating since the eighteen century, and the fiesta gets greener and wilder each year. Even cities with no St. Patrick’s Day tradition begun to align with the trend, and today there’s almost no place in the US that doesn’t wear green on March 17.
South Bend, a lively city with a passion for reggae, seizes the opportunity to celebrate the Irish with pub tours, parades, contests and live music. St. Patrick’s Day festivities kick-off in the heart of downtown South Bend with the St. Paddy’s Tent Party & Pub Tour, and continue at Fiddler’s Hearth with music by Kennedy’s Kitchen, dance, food and drink all day long. Here there will be special performances by the Caledonia Kilty Bagpipe Band, Celtic Fire Irish Dancers, Spraio Agus Rince Irish Dancers, and the Notre Dame/St. Mary’s Irish Dance Team. There is a Little Leprechaun Contest for kiddies at Howard Park at 10:00 am, then the main event, 2012 St. Patrick’s Day Parade, begins at 11:00 am at Jefferson & Francis, going west on Jefferson, turning north on Niles Avenue and ending at Washington Street. For those who want to spend St. Patrick’s in Joseph County, Indiana, there’s an opportunity to win a free hotel stay at Magnuson Grand Hotel South Bend, simply by joining the hotel’s sweepstakes on Facebook.
Tarrant County celebrates in style, with exciting parties all St. Patrick’s weekend. The main event, St Patricks Day Parade on Greenville Avenue, the “Dallas’ version of Mardi Gras,” brings thousands together along the 2 mile route to celebrate Erin Go Braugh through outrageous floats, colorful costumes and plenty of surprises. Fort Worth’s Stockyards Station will host Cowtown Goes Green, the city’s largest and most family friendly St. Patrick’s Day celebration. There will be free activities for kids including pony rides, face painting, games and contests with Radio Disney, live music, gunfights and an “Irish Western” parade following the 4 PM cattle drive. A family-friendly St. Patrick’s Day festival will be held in Trinity Park 2 PM-6 PM, featuring a 5km race and live performance by Granger Smith. The Log Cabin Village invites travelers to celebrate St. Patrick’s day by playing with old-time toys and games, and listening to Celtic tunes from Buttermilk Junction Old Time, from 1 PM to 4 PM. And these are just a few possibilities for those who want to spend St. Patrick’s here. There is a chance to win a free hotel stay at Magnuson Hotel North Richland Hills simply by entering the hotel’s Facebook sweeps, which ends on Tuesday, March 13.
While there’s not much to do in Warren this St. Patrick’s day, the city makes for a perfect retreat after a lively St. Patrick’s day celebration. The main events revolve around Cleveland’s downtown, where the St. Patrick’s Day Parade (1pm-4pm) will begin at the intersection of Superior Ave. and East 18th St, ending at the intersection of Rockwell Ave. and East 6th St. Cleveland Bands go Irish for the Day St. Patrick’s Day in Cleveland is always epic, with old time Drink specials on Guinness and Jameson Picklebacks at the Grog Shop. Enter Magnuson Grand Hotel Warren Facebook sweeps here.
Marion County celebrates in style, with exciting parties all St. Patrick’s weekend. The main event, Columbus Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, will step off at 11:30am on Nationwide Blvd in the Arena District and will end at Veteran Memorial on W. Broad St. for the Irish Family Reunion which begins at 1pm. In Marion, a second annual St. Patrick’s Day Dinner and Dance will be held 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, March 17, at the James H. Johnson-Charles Rudd Community Complex. There will be other fun events all through the day in Marion, including the popular annual Farmers CARE Breakfast at Tri Rivers Career Center featuring pancakes, sausage, eggs, milk, orange juice and coffee, all for only 50 cents or donation of non-perishable food item. To stay in Marion this St. Patrick’s Day, enter the Magnuson Hotel University Inn sweepstakes on Facebook.