By Lauren Power
Newfoundland’s quasi-holiday is steeped in tradition, so there’s plenty to do, whether you’re actually Irish or just have very strong feelings about alcohol. Here’s a few things that you can do to make your St. Patrick’s Day a little greener.
TAKE A DAY OFF
St. Patrick’s Day is a public holiday in the province, observed on the nearest Monday to March 17 each year. So, the holiday is Monday, but St. Paddy’s is actually Tuesday. No one could blame you if you accidentally spent a four-day-weekend celebrating your Irish heritage.
SUPPORT IRISH CULTURE IN THE PROVINCE
The Benevolent Irish Society (BIS) of St. John’s was established over 200 years ago, making it the oldest non-profit organization in the province. The BIS serves a number of educational and charitable causes. They’re also involved in the promotion of Ireland and Newfoundland culture and heritage through public lectures. Membership in the organization is open to natives of Ireland or descendants of Irish men and women. The only other qualification is to be a good citizen.
EAT SOMETHING IRISH
Whether you’re setting up for a day of casual boozing or nursing your hangover, O’Reilly’s Irish Newfoundland Pub (13 George Street) is serving their annual St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast from 7:30 am to 10:00 am on Tuesday. The traditional Irish Newfoundland breakfast buffet also features entertainment by Fergus O’Byrne and Fergus Brown-O’Bryne. Tickets are $30, IDs required. If you’re not up for breakfast, then you can stop into Bridie Molloy’s (5 George Street) for an order of Irish curry chips. It mixes the two favourites of the Irish palate: curry gravy and french-fried potatoes.
LISTEN TO IRISH MUSIC
With O’Brien’s Music staging a comeback, traditional Irish music is on an upswing in the city. To find out which venues have got someone playing “Four Green Fields,” check out the Music listings here in The Overcast’s March issue.
WATCH AN IRISH MOVIE OR SHOW
You could try to catch Tomm Moore’s Song of the Sea. It’s super-adorable and was up for an Oscar in the Best Animated Feature category. If you’re in a downer of a mood (and how Irish is that?), you could binge watch The Fall. Gillian Anderson (in an array of blouses) hunts Jamie Dornan on the streets of Belfast.
HAVE A DRINK
At the liquor store, you can bypass the usual Guinness and Baileys, and go deluxe with a powerful, high-proof cask strength Connemara Irish Whiskey ($99.98). The palate is full, punchy, and sweet with vanilla spice, smoke, cereals and peat, and the nose is subtle and soft, with notes of blossom and more peat. “Quite farmyardy!” they say. If you’re determined to throw back a green beer, but want to avoid green teeth, a little Blue Curaçao will turn a pale lager an emerald shade.
GO TO IRELAND
You can get there and back for under a grand via Air Canada, so why not go visit your ancestral home?