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St. Patrick's Day Parade: Bless the American Worker

Let’s get a couple of things straight. The most popular legend associated with St. Patrick—of him driving all the snakes out of Ireland—is a bit misinterpreted. In reality, there were no actual snakes. Think of it as a metaphor: The patron saint of Ireland was instrumental in converting the pagan Irish people (symbolized by the snake) to Christianity. Also, for your information, the color traditionally associated with Patrick is blue, not green. That color is for the leprechauns and fairies—and be forewarned, if you sport too much you could fall under their wily ways.

Perhaps that is why here in America, the holiday is such a far cry from its roots—we love us some green, even in our beer, on the appropriate holiday. That conspicuous consumption, by the way, is also clearly an American invention, as until rather recently, all the pubs in Dublin were piously locked up for the festivities. Yep, it’s hard to believe that St. Patrick’s Day was indeed a religious holiday at some point—but it’s true.

So perhaps here in Salt Lake City we’re perfectly poised to celebrate both the old and the new. Sure, there will be a grand parade hosted by the Hibernian Society of Utah, but it will be grand marshaled by Monsignor Matthew Wixted, a Catholic priest raised in Ireland. And yes, there will be merriment aplenty with food and drink proffered at the siamsa (Irish for “pleasant musical diversion”). The tunes will be provided by Jim Ryan (aka Jim O’ the Mills), a master fiddler from Upperchurch, County Tipperary, Ireland. (Jacob Stringer)

St. Patrick’s Day @ The Gateway, 400 W. 100 South, March 17, parade at 10 a.m., siamsa until 4 p.m. in the Grand Hall, free.

Date: Mar 17, 2012
Time: 10 am
Phone: 801-456-0000
Address: 90 S. 400 West, Salt Lake City, 84102
Where: The Gateway