Saint Patrick’s Day is upon us. Each year as it approaches I feel some ambivalence as I think of the painfully un-Irish way that America expresses itself on this holiday. I’m referring, of course, to green beer, Shamrock Shakes, and cupcakes decorated with Lucky Charms cereal. I’m what is called Scots-Irish, and my husband and his family are from Belfast, Northern Ireland. Saint Patrick’s Day is a very different thing to them.
Every year I shudder a bit and steel myself against the onslaught of leprechauns and the “Luck of the Irish.” I wish that people knew more about Ireland and its history and culture. And more than anything else I wish that Saint Patrick’s Day had not been reduced to an opportunity to consume inordinate amounts of alcohol.
In America we seem to have three whole holidays reserved for the reckless consumption of alcohol: New Year’s Eve, Saint Patrick’s Day, and Cinco de Mayo. Interestingly enough, the latter two are awash in cultural appropriation and misinformation. But who cares when they’re such great commercial moneymakers, right? One wonders what was on Governor Hogan’s mind when he relaxed restrictions for public places right before Saint Patrick’s Day.
Open for business, indeed.
I’m not here to tell you how to celebrate, but I do want to let you know that this year you have options.
Sobar is having a Zoom Happy Hour with live music on Saint Patrick’s Day, from 6-8 pm. Registration is free. (Link to register) In addition, they’re also having a Silent Auction to raise funds for the Sobar mission. (Visit Silent Auction) There’s quite the variety of items on offer. Please don’t tell my husband that there’s a vintage banjo available...
From the auction page:
Our auction and mixology contest will raise funds to provide free tickets to people in early recovery to our alcohol-free events and to further our mission - reducing the stigma and shame of alcoholism and addiction and access for non-drinkers to healthy, sophisticated options at events.
Oh, yes. The mixology contest.
Enter our mixology contest and you could win a fabulous prize at our Sobar St. Patrick's Day event - Tshirts, St. Patty's Day swag, gift cards and more!
We'll award Contest Points for:
Posting your recipe and drink photo on our Facebook page and sharing it to yours;
Originality - perhaps a unique ingredient or glass
Healthy Ingredients - low sugar, fresh, natural, organic
Sounds like fun.
However you choose to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day this year, it’s good to know that, at least in Columbia/HoCo, you have some options.