Tuesday marked our second Paddy's Day since moving to Ireland. While there were no river dyeings to be seen, or pub crawls to be had, we had a wonderful day with family, celebrating the heritage and culture of so many of our family and friends. I especially love that March 17th is recognized as a public holiday for the country, as it was really nice having my husband off from work for the day.
Together with my father-in-law, we made a morning of the event. We started with taking the electric rail system called the DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) to Greystones, a seaside town located on the coast of the Irish Sea in County Wicklow. We arrived an hour before the parade was set to begin and while there was clearly excitement building, there was still plenty of space to grab a seat for viewing along the main street in the fishing village. We were lucky enough to nab some seats in the outdoor section of Cafe Gray and ordered some hot beverages and pastries to enjoy before the parade started. We moved to the sidewalk's curb as the kickoff began. Complete with everything you might expect from a typical St. Patrick's Day parade- bagpipers, marching bands, firetrucks, tractors, vintage cars, and dancers- it lasted for just about an hour and kept us all entertained. My two children were majorly delighted when Mickey & Minnie Mouse walked through, waving to all the kids, while they promoted a local business of course.
The Greystone's parade was exactly what we were looking for in that day- a family friendly, entertaining event. One of these years we'll make it into the city centre for the big celebration there, but for now the smaller, localized parades are just perfect and lovely for us!
And as much fun as the parade was, I have to admit that I'm slightly disappointed that I didn't get to see this gem of a parade in person. This video of a Paddy's parade I've seen making the rounds on social media has to be the most perfect little treasure ever found on Inis Mor, one of the Aran Islands. You will most definitely find me celebrating March 17th on this island for next year! Anyone care to join us there?!
Tomorrow we are continuing the celebration at a friend's house for a little get together. In anticipation of the day, the kids and I made some cupcakes this afternoon. I hadn't planned a dessert in advance so I took out one of my coveted box of Pillsbury Moist Supreme Classic White cupcake mixes and got to baking. (I say coveted because these boxes are not easily available here in Ireland and I have yet to find an equivalent in terms of ease and taste!) Once cooled I had to figure out how to decorate the cupcakes and thankfully I had a bag of Christmas M&Ms on hand (thanks mom!) and a few packs of miniature smarties candies that I grabbed from the kids' snack bin. I started playing around with some shapes and was thrilled that I had enough green candies to make some shamrocks, as well as add a few rainbow designs in too.
|A rainbow and a shamrock|
|Harry got to decorating his own cupcake|
|My official taste tester says YUM!|
What did you do to celebrate St. Patrick's Day this year? Did you wear green? Go see a parade? Were there any local landmarks you noticed were lit in green for the holiday? I saw so many beautiful images of famous landmarks from around the world being lit in glorious green lighting this year. Seeing photographs of the Colusseum, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Niagra Falls and so many more globally recognized landmarks made me feel an extra special sense of pride for where we live. While Ireland itself may be small, it seems that both the Irish and non-Irish alike enjoy celebrating their love for the little Emerald Isle.
I'd love to hear what kind of traditions you got up to, to celebrate the Irish holiday.