Everyone’s Irish on March 17. It seems like such a clich�
expression, but there was something fitting about the block
lettering across the beam at the Guinness factory at Saint James
Gate in Dublin. I wonder if the beam is always green, or if it too
had dressed up for the occasion. Although St. Patrick’s Day had
come and gone by the time we made it to the brewery, it’s an
experience I will remember forever.
We arrived in Dublin at 7 a.m. on the holiday to end all
holidays: St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin. The six American women, some
of us on Spring Break, others studying abroad in London, were
slightly disappointed to find the streets empty; but it was, after
all, the wee hours o’ the mornin.’ There was a sense of peace and
calm that would not last long.
After treating our bellies to some breakfast, we were delighted
to return to the bridge over the River Liffey packed with an odd
mix of locals and tourists. We walked through crowds of green- and
orange-clad partiers, speaking different languages with different
We searched for the thinnest spot to park ourselves for the
parade. Our own little party train was briefly halted on several
occasions. A loud Irishman discussing the luck of kissing the Irish
with passersby was halted by a young, female Japanese tourist.
Although they did not speak the same language, he understood she
wanted a picture with the young man. I took my own mental picture
as the man proudly displayed the fake butt cheeks protruding from
his St. Patrick Day’s soccer, or football, shorts and the woman
proceeded to grope them. It was going to be an interesting day
The Irish hippies offered to paint shamrocks and Irish flags on
the cheeks of anyone willing to part with two Euros. Street vendors
passed out large Dr. Seuss-like hats in Irish colors,
Guinness-shaped pints and shamrock-clad varieties. Parents propped
toddlers on their shoulders hoping to allow their little ones a
view of the festivities to come. The children seemed excited too,
not only by all of the visual stimulation, but probably also for
the free ride.
The parade began with three jester-like angels teasing the crowd
and blessing the children with pieces of confetti placed on their
foreheads. A random array of floats and marching bands followed.
Mermaids, lepers, polar bears, dragons, the Queen of Hearts …
there seemed to be no end to the randomness.
There were bagpipers from Spain and Texas, but none from
Scotland. We were surprised at how many American marching bands had
been invited to play. “Yeah, Colorado,” we yelled in typical
college fashion as students from a Loveland high school tooted
their horns and banged on their drums in front of thousands.
We got a lovely tour of the Dublin countryside as we got on a
bus for our hotel headed in the wrong direction.
“You’s from America, right?” two Dublin teenagers asked. They
were as excited about our accents as we were at theirs. We asked
them where we should go out that night, but it seemed to be a silly
question. It was St. Patrick’s Day; everyone’s Irish and there’s a
A traditional Italian meal ensued, as most traditional Irish
pubs weren’t selling anything but liquor. We headed to a night of
Guinness, whiskey and cute Irish locals attempting to convince
silly American girls that it’s bad luck not to kiss an Irish man
At the top of the Guinness Brewery, we looked out over all of
Dublin and reflected on the day before. The Guinness was a cold and
smooth finish to an eclectic and crazy trip. We’d just spent St.
Patrick’s Day in Ireland. I feel spoiled. March 17 will never be
the same. Erin Go Bragh!
Marika is the news director for KCSU. Her column appears every