Everyone is Irish for one day each year
Published 12:30 am Sunday, March 13, 2011
For one day a year, the old saying goes, everyone is Irish.
Many of us are 365-days-a-year Irish. Others like to adopt the Irish to celebrate Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.
But what are the best ways to enjoy being Irish, even if for one day a year?
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• Start with music. From the Clancy Brothers to the Chieftains to the Pogues and the Dubliners, music is a key component to any good Saint Patrick’s Day celebration. Irish musicians use myriad instruments to concoct an upbeat atmosphere. Of course, Irish musicians are also known for sad songs, many geared toward the centuries-old feud between Ireland and England. Get the party started with upbeat tunes, then dim it down.
• A pint of Guinness Stout. Don’t be afraid just because it looks like motor oil. Guinness actually has one of the lowest alcohol contents of any beer available. Few beverages can fit the mood of a Saint Patrick’s celebration than a pint of the black.
• Corned beef, cabbage and potatoes to go alongside the Guinness. Many Irish pile the meat and veggies into a stock pot and then boil — and boil some more. A nice twist is to put a 4-pound corned beef on a rack in a baking pan, lather it with light brown sugar and then pour a Guinness slowly over the top. Cover the meat with foil and bake at 300 for about 2.5 hours.
• Parades are always a nice treat. Irish towns across the land have Irish-themed parades. The one in downtown Jackson — celebrating its 29th year — is one of the best. The Mal’s St. Paddy’s Day Parade is talked about in the same way as those larger parades in New York City, Chicago and Savannah, Ga. There will be bagpipers and plenty of green beads.
The parade is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday, and the weather forecast is sure to make any chamber of commerce employee smile.
• The most crucial “must-have” at any Saint Patrick’s Day celebration is a designated driver. Each March 17, people like to enjoy themselves, and some will enjoy themselves too much. Please, please don’t get on the road if you are one of the wilder revelers. Be responsible first.
Follow those simple steps and everyone will enjoy a fine Saint Patrick’s Day, whether one is actually Irish or not.
Sean P. Murphy is web editor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org