Sometimes Weird, Sometimes Wild, Always Irish: St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations

Published March 16, 2015
Updated January 19, 2018
Published March 16, 2015
Updated January 19, 2018

St. Patrick’s Day in North Carolina

The world’s largest St. Patrick’s Day pub crawl takes place in Charlotte, North Carolina and has been a tradition since 2000.

The crawl boasts upwards of 9,000 people, with over 20 pubs involved in the official proceedings. The pub crawl is not centered exclusively on excess; proceeds support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Nevertheless, others still clamor for a return to more traditional roots. Father Vincent Twomey writes, “It is time to reclaim St Patrick’s Day as a church festival.” He questioned the need for “mindless alcohol-fuelled revelry” and concluded that “it is time to bring the piety and the fun together.”

St. Patrick’s Celebration in England

In Birmingham’s Irish quarter, people celebrate the Irish as much as they do cultural diversity. A spokesman for the festivities says that “While unmistakably Irish at the core, the parade increasingly mirrors the fantastic diversity of our ethnicities as we welcome guest appearances from other communities. After all, what could be more Irish than extending hospitality?”

In what surely casts a kelly-green glow over the whole block, the Selfridge’s department store in Birmingham emits the color of the day through colored lights along the building exterior every March 17th during the festival. Inside, the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Choir takes to a balcony to treat the onlookers to traditional Irish songs.

Erin Kelly
Erin Kelly is a freelance writer, artist, and video editor that splits her time between the humid Midwest and the dusty corners of her mind.