Best way to spend St Patrick’s Day this year

Sonja Tutty

No matter where a person ends up on April 17, St. Patrick’s day is a great day to go out and enjoy the festivities.

Whether in America, Denmark or home in Ireland it is impossible to avoid the floods of green face paint, Irish flags and leprechaun hats with over 400 major events across the world, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

While the day does often offer the opportunity for extensive day-drinking and a long night out, there are many other options, especially if you decide to travel abroad. In a survey by iResearch, 61 per cent of the 1,000 Irish adults surveyed even said that parades abroad were better than those in Ireland.

So – just like many cities, towns or villages in Ireland – America loves a giant parade for St. Patrick’s day. If the hope is to see a true appreciation for Irish heritage, Chicago is one of the places to be. They even go as far to dye their river green with 45 pounds of dye in preparation for the big day, which they have been doing since 1962. Alongside Chicago, Boston and New York city are well known for their Irish roots and offers its residents and visitors great parades. 

According to Insider, 60 per cent of the American population celebrate St. Patrick’s day, ensuring a good crowd in any state or city. Alongside this, people are prepared to splash out for the day, with Americans spending €5.9 billion on the day.

However, a trip to America is not the ideal St. Patrick’s trip for some. Copenhagen is a bit closer to home and offers several family friendly and fun events such as face painting, Irish dancing performances, an incredible parade and even opens a food market.

Unsurprisingly, Ireland celebrates the day best. With events in every community, there is always a carnival, market, parade, or performance near – whether it’s in Dublin Cork, Galway or the middle of Meath.

105,000 tourists and non-natives attended Dublin’s parade in 2016. Throughout Ireland they saw 10.5 million visitors who spent around €5.4 billion for the holiday.

Unfortunately, the rise of the coronavirus may stop you from travelling and has even cancelled most of Ireland’s own St. Patrick’s day parades and events. But many Irish are not even keen on the giant parades, which are largely taken over by tourists.

In fact, the survey found that one in four of Irish people don’t like St. Patrick’s day. Additionally, 79 per cent of the people surveyed said the day feeds into the negative stereotype of Irish people excessively drinking.

58 per cent agreed the alcohol consumption on April 19 is far too high and only 52 per cent of those surveyed said they would even drink alcohol on the day.

So, spending the day in self-isolation, with close friends, drinking a few cans and/or enjoying a takeaway, watching Netflix, or playing a few games may be the best and safest shout for St. Patrick’s day 2020. 

Sonja Tutty

Image Credit: Sonja Tutty