When St. Patrick’s Day falls on a weekend, you know it will be a blast. Here are some fun facts and traditions to add to your party.
There will be parades and pub crawls, but your patio can be the neighborhood spot for the post-party party. The key is comfort and contentment. And green. Lots and lots of green.
Balloons, in a pinch
In a hurry and don’t have time to dress up the patio? Stop off at the local dollar store. Inexpensive helium balloons and a green plastic tablecloth are all the accessories you need to get your patio in all its gorgeous green glory. If the store is running low on Kelly green, mix some other greens in, along with blue (the original color associated with the holiday), white, and the pinks and yellows of the spring season. The day falls close to the spring equinox and is said to have been a replacement for the pagan celebrations for it.
Who said egg coloring is just for easter? Hard-boil some eggs (or don’t, if you’re daring) and color them green. Have spoon races or egg relays. After a day of revelry, these basic balancing skill games may be harder than they seem. (Be sure to hose egg off your pavers right away, tho). No eggs? Water balloons will work, too. Search on “lawn relay games” for more ideas.
Cornhole and bocce seem to be the all-ages lawn sports du jour. Green bean bags and bocce balls are an easy way to work in the green theme. Got kids? Crabwalk soccer is a good, muddy outlet. Have a soapy bucket of water ready for their hands. Hose off the rest!
If you really want to pay homage to some real Irish history, a rousing game of capture the flag would do it. Ireland has been, historically, quite a contested isle. Here’s a twist: flags are out in the open, but players have to roll a set of dice or sink a ping-pong ball in a cup in order to advance in steps toward it.
Green food, besides vegetables, is a bit over the top. Your guests may not find green mashed potatoes or deli meats appetizing. But traditional Irish dishes can be real crowd pleasers. Irish stew is a good, hearty meal after a day of parades and pub crawls. Irish soda bread is a delicious side to dip into stew. If you have a lot of potatoes around, colcannon may be a great way to present it. Traditionally a fall dish that was associated with Halloween originally, colcannon’s mix of mashed potatoes, cabbage or kale and onions is sure to fill up some empty (or sloshy) tummies on St. Patrick’s Day.
For the love of the Irish, stock your fridge with some water and some electrolyte-replacement drinks. St. Padraig knows your guests will need them. Pretzels and other salty snacks can also make a poor parade partier parched. Keeping hydrated is the secret to having a good March 18th.