Alternative ways to spend St. Patrick’s Day in the ‘Burgh

Photo by Harald Bischoff via Wikimedia Commons
Photo by Harald Bischoff via Wikimedia Commons
Photo by Harald Bischoff via Wikimedia Commons

Anna Walnoha | Staff Writer

Saint Patrick’s Day, held every year on March 17, is a cultural and religious holiday commemorating the death of Saint Patrick, the foremost patron saint of Ireland. Others know it as a day for wearing green, looking for gold and leprechauns and getting as intoxicated as one can.

When you’re in college, those seem to be the only things on offer. However, if you are not interested in those activities, you can still join in on the Irish holiday fun.

If you are looking for a parade or festivals, sadly to say, they have already occurred. Don’t be discouraged though, because there are a few things left to do within the city, and around campus.

Grab one, or a dozen, of the green original glazed donuts from Krispy Kreme on March 17 to celebrate the green holiday, or go to McDonalds if there aren’t any Krispy Kreme shops around to get a Shamrock Shake. If you are having a crazy sweet tooth that day, stop by the Union NiteSpot for Sweets Night from 9-11 p.m.

Same as every other day, there will be Mass at Duquesne’s Chapel of the Holy Spirit on March 17 at 7:45-8:45 a.m. and at 12-1 p.m. Since Saint Patrick’s Day is a religious holiday to begin with, it could be an appropriate option to go to one of the Masses.

The “Halfway to the Festival” party will be held from 1-5 p.m. on Sunday, March 19 at the Bulgarian-National Educational and Cultural Center. There will be live music from local Irish acts, including Hooly, Wild Geese, Terry Griffith and more, and also entertainment from Irish step dancers.

If you do not feel like going out to celebrate, there are a few activities that you could do to show your spirit for the holiday.

For one, try having an original full Irish breakfast. Make sure that you have an empty stomach, because the meal consists of Irish bacon and sausage, black and white pudding (another meat dish), baked beans, eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes and, of course, a potato dish. You will also have to have sides of thick slices of soda or traditional Irish brown bread, Irish butter (Kerrygold), jam, breakfast tea and orange juice.

If you’re not quite ready for such a feast, or do not like the traditional choices, you could also opt for the easy but still Irish Fish and Chips. For those who do not know, the dish is a fried piece of fish with a side of french fries.

While you are getting breakfast or any other Irish inspired dish prepared, you can listen to traditional Irish songs such as, “Galway Girl” by Steve Earle, or “The Rocky Road to Dublin” by The Dubliners. You could also just make a playlist on Pandora of “Irish Music” for the day, and see what they give you.

If you are not too full from breakfast, you and your friends could buy edible gold color mist and a package of Oreos to make gold coins to munch on while you all watch Irish movies like the Disney Channel’s “The Luck of the Irish,” “P.S. I Love You,” “Leap Year” or “The Boondock Saints.”

March 17 doesn’t have to be a day of bar hopping and getting smashed on green PBR. If you are with friends, or even by yourself, you can have a good time celebrating the other aspects that the day has to offer. You also have the possibility to learn more about the holiday and culture itself.

Also, as one last tip, do not make a fool of yourself by saying “Saint Patty’s Day” — it’s actually “Saint Paddy’s Day.” As long as you are being safe, and do not get into too much trouble during the day, everyone has the chance to have the luck of the Irish.