By MEGGIE COSTELLO-KESSLER
Lá fhéile Phádraig shona duit!
For anyone who cannot read Gaelic, this translates into “happy Saint Patrick’s Day!”
St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, born in England during the fifth century. At the age of 16, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders. He lived as a slave in Ireland for six years until he heard a voice in a dream telling him to leave, and proceeded to walk 200 miles to freedom.
Once he reached England, Patrick heard an angel in a dream instructing him to return to Ireland as a missionary. He studied in England for 15 years to be a priest and then returned to Ireland. He is credited with bringing Catholicism to Ireland.
St. Patrick died around 460 A.D. on March 17.
Tucson will celebrate its 25th annual St. Patrick’s Day Festival on March 17 in El Presidio Park Plaza, 160 W. Alameda St., starting at 10 a.m. Live Irish music, dancers and a game area for children will be available.
A one-hour parade will begin at 11 a.m. at Pennington Street and Stone Avenue. This year’s theme, “Honoring our Founders,” will celebrate the vision and dedication of those who founded the parade.
The Community Food Bank will accept donations at the festival in memory of the Irish potato famine, when 500,000 to 1 million Irish died of starvation or disease.
For further details, visit http://tucsonstpatricksday.com.
Many Tucson restaurants and bars will also celebrate festivities on March 17.
Pastiche, 3025 N. Campbell Ave., will turn the restaurant into Paddy’s Irish Pub. They will serve traditional Irish food, including potato dumplings and Guinness stout cake.
Green beer can be found at Barrio Brewing Company, 800 E. 16th St., and at Gentle Ben’s, 865 E. University Blvd.
Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., will offer Guinness on tap and whiskey shots, and a live band will play at 8 p.m. A $5 cover is required.
O’Malley’s on Fourth, 247 N. Fourth Ave., will also be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. They will have live bands playing all day, including both local and Irish bands. Breakfast will be served from 8 a.m. until noon and lunch will begin at 10 a.m. Starting at 4 p.m., a $5 cover will be required, with it increasing to $10 later in the evening. Green beer will be offered in Killian and Guinness, among other brands.
This St. Patrick’s Day, invite over a few leipreacháns (leprechauns), have some beor uaine (green beer) and dance a jig amidst the seamróg (shamrocks). Just be sure not to drive if you feel ar meisce (drunk).
And remember, on St. Patrick’s Day everyone is Irish!
For additional information, check out these websites: