St. Patrick’s Day has a long history.
The celebration dates back thousands of years in Ireland, home of the saint by the same name, but surprisingly, the first St. Patrick’s Day parade was held in the good, old US of A.
New York City played host to Irish soldiers fighting in the English Army in 1762. The soldiers brought their celebration of Ireland’s patron saint to the streets of New York, helping the far-away lads to reconnect to their homeland.
Local Irishmen, or any one who is Irish at heart, will have a chance to celebrate their loyalties this weekend in Dublin, when the 38th Annual St. Patrick’s Day festivities will be held.
But some will not have to wait for the weekend to begin their celebration. The 44 young ladies competing for the titles of Little Miss, Junior Miss and Miss Dublin will compete Thursday and Friday night for the coveted crowns.
The newly crowned royalty’s first appearance will be on Saturday, during the St. Patty’s parade, which winds through downtown as it “paints the town green.” Floats entered in the parade will be judged and are sure to please onlookers. The parade gets rolling at 10 a.m.
The smell of homemade stew wafting through the air will delight everyone in tasting distance. The Annual Stew Cook-Off will be held Saturday afternoon, chefs will start boiling at noon. While Jimmy Leatherwood with First National Bank hasn’t had much competition in the past, chefs from Dublin Dr Pepper will pose a threat this year. Any chef can enter by paying a fee of $25 by noon Saturday.
The Highland Games will also please the crowd as participants compete in traditional games such as the hammer throw and sheaf toss. Competitors will compete for points and once the winner is announced, locals will have their chance to hurl vegetables in their own competitions.
The entertainment doesn’t end when the sun goes down. The Baggy Bottom Boys, a gospel group, will perform at 3 p.m. inside the City Park building. Following their performance, a concert and dance will be held featuring a Celtic-inspired group called Beyond the Pale. Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for children. All other concerts and happenings inside the park building are free to the public.
This year’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration will also feature something for the whole family including arts and crafts, carnivals and a variety of food vendors. While in Dublin, visitors can stop by for tours of the Dublin Dr Pepper Bottling plant and see where the famous concoction is made, or take a tour of the Dublin Historical and Rodeo Heritage Museums for a look back into the days of old.