Sunday 17 March 2024

An Emerald Event for the Masses

First things first, I'm quite open about the fact that I'm not a fan of St Patrick's Day. Or rather, I'm not a fan of how it has been appropriated as everyone's favourite excuse to have a piss-up.

Speaking as an Englishwoman who only has some very distant Irish ancestry via a great, great grandfather, it bothers me no end that everyone here goes wild for St Patrick's Day, despite many of them having even less Irish blood in them than I do, which is to say, not a lot, while they couldn't give a flying fuck about our own patron saint's day. I mean, in don't even want to think about how few of them could even name our patron saint.

The reason I'm telling you all of this is that I don't want there to be any misconceptions about why I choose to actively abstain from dressing from head to toe in green. I don't identify as Irish so I don't think it's appropriate for me to parade myself around as if I were. If others want to do that, then fair enough, but I have no interest in participating in the rampant commercialism and shameless drunkenness.

Now, with that disclaimer out of the way, let's get down to the business of talking about this year's community event for St Patrick's Day, which is, believe it or not, the first community event for this particular celebrate. Surprising that, isn't it?

Given the way that I've already prefaced this discussion, it shouldn't come as a surprise that, much like with last months Valentine's Day party, this is an event that I'm not exactly desperate to spend all evening at and that I dropped in merely to see what it was about and be able to offer my own take on.

Unlike the Valentine's Day party, my discussion of this one will start off on a far more positive note (assuming you can ignore my opening rant that was directed at the day itself rather than this party) as, unlike with the Valentine's Day party, this one absolutely understood the importance of getting the theming right.

All of the traditional Irish, and by extension of that St Patrick's Day, tropes were on full display here. Which predictably starts with there being green, green and more green. But I think that was done in a fun and playful way by placing the event within a picturesque Irish wood.

But this was no ordinary wood. It was one dressed up with wonderous magical fungi and gigantic four leaf clovers, home to adorable woodland critters and, of course, the playground to one of Ireland's favourite mascots, a leprechaun. And no leprechaun self-respecting leprechaun will be found without his legendary pot of gold, so, naturally, there was one of those as well.

Oh, and for the Guinness lovers out there, there was a comically over-sized harp. I'll admit that I'm not one of those though. Not because of anyone of the reasons that I've already addressed for not being a fan of St Patrick's Day. It's merely because I cannot stand the taste of the stuff. I'm not really much of a drinker at all, but that stuff is right down the bottom of the list of what I would drink, if I did.

And, quickly on that note, there was of course a well-stocked bar. Not just with ales and the like, but a wide variety of alcoholic beverages. Not much in the way of snakes to munch on though.

Anyway, between all of these things, I think that pretty much ticks all of the boxes for what you would expect from a St Patrick's Day party. Possibly the only thing missing was a suitable soundtrack. As usual, it was the typical selection of dance music that has come to be the norm for these sort of community events. Or, at least, it was during the time that I spent there. A shame they couldn't have thrown in something a bit more folky or Irish-influenced.

In terms of a community event, it was again a bit understated in terms of the turn out of community celebs and people of note. There was no red carpet or designated photo backdrop but I think that is what we are coming to expect from these events now.

So, in summary, I'd say this was a marked improvement theming-wise over the St Valentine's Day event and pretty much was what you would want from a St Patricks Day party. But, with these events seemingly becoming more frequent occurrences, its another example of the glitz and glamour that these events once have being absent. They are more like events that are optional to vists rather than the being the must-attend affairs that they once were.

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