Saint. Patrick’s Day is recognized as the traditional religious feast of Saint Patrick on March 17 of each year. The holiday has been observed as a religious one in Ireland for over 1,000 years. Since it typically aligns with Lent, Irish families traditionally go to church in the morning and celebrate the holiday in the afternoon.
Saint Patrick lived during the fifth century, but he wasn’t originally born in Ireland. He was born in Roman Britain. He was kidnapped and came to Ireland as a slave when he was only 16. He managed to escape slavery, and he is credited for bringing Christianity to some of the Irish.
When Saint Patrick died, his life became legendary, and it integrated itself into Irish culture. One of the legends of Saint Patrick tells of him using a clover to explain the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The luck of the Irish has long been associated with this culture. From shamrocks to leprechauns, to the Blarney Stone, it is a culture full of hard workers, charm and tradition. The Irish settled the Eastern and mid-western part of the United States after leaving Ireland during the Potato Famine, bringing with them a great work ethic, religious strong ties, family oriented gatherings, good-hearted music and cheer.
What begin as a religious event, St. Patrick’s is now a celebration of the varied traditions of the Irish celebrated in all major cities in the U.S. in the form of parades, festivals or good old family gatherings.
Saint Patrick’s Day parades were first held in the United States when Irish soldiers who were part of the English military marched through New York City in 1762. They played music, and more importantly, they reconnected with their Irish roots.
Irish patriotism soon grew among Irish immigrants in America. The first official New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade took place in 1848. Now, the parade sees over 150,000 participants and 3 million guests. The parade usually lasts longer than five hours, and it stretches for 1.5 miles.
In Denver, the city will celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day with the Denver St. Patrick’s Day Parade. It starts at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 16. Parade officials say around 450,000 people attended the event last year. The best place to catch the parade is south of 20th Ave. on Blake St.
Olde Town Arvada celebrates Saint Patrick’s Day through its St. Patrick’s Day Festival. The festival runs from noon to 6 p.m. on March 16. The city will offer food, beverages, artisan and craft vendors, a kids zone, street performances and live music from Angus Mohr, Big Paddy and Ponder the Albatross. The Olde Town Business Improvement District encourages people to park south of Grandview in between old Wadsworth and Vance Street.
Places like Colorado Plus Brew Pub and Taphouse will roll out a special Saint Patrick’s Day menu, featuring corned beef and cabbage and Shepard’s pie made of Colorado lamb. The pub and taphouse, located at 6995 W. 38th Ave., will offer the food from March 15 to March 16. It will also have a special Irish dry stout style beer and an Irish red ale style beer. For more information visit www.denverstpatricksdayparade.com.