How green is your town or city willing to go for St. Patrick’s Day?
I was surprised when I first learned how far Chicago was willing to go every year to celebrate the Irish and had to learn more…. On March 17th it’s not unusual for towns to have people dressed as various green versions of leprechauns, singing irish tunes at the tops of their lungs and ‘cheersing’ (not a real word) mugs of green beer, but it is definitely unusual to have a city turn their water green!
Every year, on the Saturday prior to March 17th Chicago has it’s St. Patrick’s Day parade and it is on that same day that the city turns the Chicago River bright green! Boats drive back and forth between Michigan Avenue on the west and Columbus Drive on the east spilling green dye into the water and the results are unbelievable!
How did this tradition get started you wonder? Well apparently Steve Bailey, a business manager of the Plumbers Local Union for Chicago in the early 1960’s came up with the idea after learning an emerald green dye was being used to put into waste water lines to see if buildings were dumping pollution into the river. Mr. Bailey consequently came up with the idea of purposely dying a section of the river to help celebrate St. Patrick’s Day every year. Photos of the river on the weekend just prior to St. Patrick’s Day every year are spectacular and are truly a ‘must see’!
And no…. it won’t be that you’ve been over served…. that really is a flying leprechaun catapulting in and out of the emerald waters!
Chicago, while known for its great food, museums, architecture, classical and formal theatre as well as their many clubs among other things; I have to say that the Irish in me is certainly drawn to see yet one more wonder of Chicago… their emerald green Chicago River during St. Patrick’s Day festivities. I can see organizing an Eventastic Bus Trip to Chicago in my near future! Will you be adding Chicago to your bucket list?
I have to say that while I typically wouldn’t be considered a beer enthusiast at parties, there is one day of the year that I absolutely without doubt enjoy a cold brew. St. Patrick’s Day is when you’ll find me in my neon green wig, shamrock stockings and uttering the words “Pour me another one!” while I cheers my friends with green tinted beer and sing Irish tunes at the top of my lungs! You can’t order wine or a margarita at a St. Patrick’s Day party. Definitely an Irish no-no!
St. Patrick’s Day festivities are so much fun and in participating with my enthusiastic crazed friends I have learned to explore beer options in order to enjoy and make the right choices of brew for me for the day.
- An Ale beer differs from others in look, smell and taste. It is made from malted barley by using a warm fermentation with a strain of brewers’ yeast. Generally a robust flavour, Ales come in many varieties including bitters, milds, pale ales, nut browns, fruity etc. Most popular ales would be Alexander Keith’s Pale Ale, Molson Export, La Fin du Monde, Kipling and Samuel Smith’s Organic Best Ale.
- Lagers are refreshing and crisp with a smooth finish. They are fermented and conditioned at low temperatures with a bottom-fermenting yeast. Lager beers vary greatly in flavour, colour and composition and represent some of the world’s most alcoholic formulas. Pale lagers tend to be the most common type of beer consumed world wide. Dark lagers range in colour from amber to dark reddish brown. Most popular lagers ordered today would be Corona (my personal fav), Coors Light, Molson Canadian, Budweiser, Moosehead, Labatt Blue, Sleeman’s Honey Brown and Bud Light.
- Stouts were traditionally known to be the strongest of beers, often 7% or 8%, having the darkest of colour. There are many types of stout including Dry or Irish Stout, Imperial Stout, Porter, Baltic porter, Milk Stout, Oatmeal Stout, Chocolate Stout, Coffee Stout and Oyster Stout. Originally, Porter was the name used to describe a dark brown beer, coming in a variety of strengths. Beers with higher gravities are called Stout Porters and so now the term Stout is used mostly in reference to a dark beer rather than strong beer. Most popular Stout/Porters are Guinness (love this one!), Mill St. Coffee Porter, Murphys Irish Stout, Rickards, Sleeman Fine Porter, Muskoka Chocolate Cranberry and St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout.
Host your own party
This year I plan to host a beer sampling party for St. Patrick’s Day. Using Eventastic’s invite platform will allow me to make it fun by using multiple cover photos of friends from past parties. I will also add my own cover video with the song “When Irish Eyes are Smiling” or “Puff the Magic Dragon” playing in the background… haha! Social media channels and email make it simple to pass the invite link to all those welcome. I could even add a “Sampling Ticket” to sell right on my invite site to help offset the cost of the beers I will have on hand to sample.
It’s fun being creative and having the tools to help you promote your party or event! People invited to the party not only get the party details but a personal ‘feel’ for your party as well as options to register or buy tickets or merchandise right on the site. Check it out and make your own. Eventastic is an online platform allowing ticketing, vouchering, passes and Ecommerce sales for businesses, organizations and attractions. Eventastic.com