On Scene: St. Paddy's in Steamboat


— Unless you're in Boston, Chicago, New York - or maybe Ireland - St. Patrick's Day is about the same wherever you go.

There will be drink specials. There will be live music by a band that people can get by just bouncing around to (for lack of more adept dance moves). There will be combinations of dark beer and other liquids that should never happen under regular circumstances.

Potentially, but not likely, there will be some trace of Irish culture that reaches outside of the most obvious stereotypes.

After spending the past few St. Paddy's Days in Steamboat (waiting to see who won a pair of skis at an Italian restaurant), Atlanta (watching the Atlantic Coast Conference basketball tournament), Paris (hanging out with a friend's Irish soccer team), Winter Park (the one in Florida, during college Spring Break), Los Angeles (visiting friends from high school) and a handful in North Carolina (growing up), I feel comfortable saying it is not a diversely celebrated holiday.

It's not New Year's with its cultural variations; it's not the Fourth of July with its town-specific traditions. Everyone, everywhere essentially does the same thing on St. Patrick's Day, so long as they can get up for work the next morning - unless, of course, you've got a taste for cabbage, which most people in the United States don't.

In a way, that's kind of comforting. That young people celebrate St. Patrick's Day and Cinco de Mayo the same way we do Memorial Day or July Fourth represents a sort of cultural blending that transcends mountain towns and the American South, that gets past hip-hop cities and the City of Lights.

It means we've developed common bonds over cultural lines no matter what side of them we come from - even if those bonds are best developed over a poorly-thought-out affection for green beer.


sickofitall 9 years ago

It's a shame the town has gotten so uptight the bump-off is a thing of the past :(


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