Irish or not, celebrate St. Paddy’s Day in fun ways

By Laura Longley

Oh, for the days of green rivers and joyous crowds celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day in parades from Australia to Argentina, Brazil to Boston, New Orleans to New York, and of course, Chicago. 

While most parades are canceled this year, there are still plenty of other ways to get your yearly boost of leprechauns, shamrocks, and Irish music. And don’t forget streaming “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” when a very young Matthew Broderick hops a float and belts out a sensational rendition of “Twist and Shout.”

With so many parades and other festivities canceled or postponed, it’s like everything else this year:  moderate your expectations, and plan for the kinds of activities your real—or adopted–Irish ancestors enjoyed, especially with children. 

Wear green, create a Saint Paddy’s Day wreath, whip up shamrock cookies, bake soda bread, prepare an Irish meal.

All you need for shamrock cookies is a recipe for sugar cookies, or a roll of sugar cookie dough from the grocery, plus a cookie cutter. Add green coloring to the dough and lots of green sprinkles. Once they’re out of the oven, take a picture and send it to us at

Now, for your very Irish meal. Nothing says Irish more than corned beef and cabbage with potatoes, baby carrots, and turnips—unless you want to try your hand at Shepherd’s Pie. There are countless recipes that will delight your taste buds and tummy. An easier option is a Shepherd’s Pie stuffed potato. Follow a basic recipe for beef stew with peas and carrots. Bake russet potatoes in the oven or microwave, scoop out the potato and mash, then fill the empty potato cooked shell with the Shepherd’s Pie stew and top it off with the mashed potatoes. Pop them in the over until golden brown. Fun and yummy.

Plan an Irish Games Day. Treat your kids to a puppet show with leprechauns, set up a coin toss with a black pot and gold coins, or play a classic bingo game with a Saint Patrick’s Day theme. Most versions, available online, include shamrocks, rainbows, pots of gold and more in assorted colors. Or go all in with Gaelic games.

Most of all, don’t forget Irish music: The Dubliners, Sinead O’Connor, U2, Enya, The Clancy Brothers, and the incomparable Colm Wilkinson will make your Saint Patrick’s Day complete. 

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  1. Leesburg 1 on March 5, 2021 at 9:49 am

    Is this not Cultural Appropriation?

  2. Leesburg 1 on March 8, 2021 at 12:33 pm

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

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