St. Patrick's Day 2019: Expectations vs. Reality

March 14, 2019 - By: Shauny Silas

Aside from parades and drinking green beer, what the heck is St. Patrick’s Day, anyway? Technically speaking, it’s the Feast of Saint Patrick, a cultural and religious celebration held on March 17th. St. Patrick is the foremost patron saint of Ireland. Now you can consider yourself a St. Patrick’s Day expert. You’re welcome.

Like most holidays, St. Patrick's Day comes with high expectations. Whether you plan to run a Shamrock 10k, attend a parade, or indulge in green-tinted feasts while wearing a “Kiss me I’m Irish” shirt, manage your expectations. With this year’s St. Patrick’s Day falling on a Sunday, we’re here to set the record straight for the optimistic expectations versus the not-so-optimistic reality we all may be facing.

Wearing Green
Wearing green

Expectations: A holiday where it is socially acceptable to dress up in crazy garb (other than Halloween). You’ve been waiting all year for this day to publicly dress in different shades of green with shamrock glasses, a necklace with a pot of gold hanging around your neck and a t-shirt that says, “Irish you were here.” You’re ready for the shenanigans and to call out any person not living up to the hype that is St. Patrick’s Day.

Reality: Well, it’s Sunday; most likely, you work the next day. If Mondays aren’t hard enough, imagine adding a hangover to it. And If you’re still adjusting to daylight savings time the way we are in California, it may be a day for you to catch up on that one lost hour of sleep. Once you finally get out of bed, no one will be seeing your green spirit unless you go outside and find something to do (perhaps a mid-day St. Paddy’s parade?). If you didn’t make plans prior to this day, you may end up staying inside and celebrating by scrolling through Instagram with your dog.

The Food

Expectations: You’re looking forward to changing up your normal food routine to try some Irish cuisine. The possibilities are endless in your mind and your mouth is watering thinking about all the corned beef, cabbage, lobster-and-corn fritters, stew, soda bread and bright green donuts.

Reality: You’ve never actually eaten Irish food. You thought cooking Irish food would be a good idea since there are no local Irish restaurants. You’re confident you can cook up something tasty because come on, how hard can it be? You buy the ingredients the day before, you watch a YouTube tutorial on how to make an Irish meal, but quickly realize you are in way over your head. And then you remember your neighbors - do you really want to burn their nostrils with the aroma of steaming cabbage? You shamefully open the DoorDash app and put all your well-intentioned Irish recipe supplies away. Next year will be your year.

The Parade


Expectations: Leprechauns, bagpipes, bands, beer and dancing. A high energy parade showcasing your local community’s Irish pride and traditions. You’re getting a front row seat to celebrate alongside every parade attendee until it’s time to continue the festivities elsewhere.

Reality: You accidentally slept in and you’re running late. You throw on your leprechaun hat and shamrock glasses. You frantically drive to the parade just in time to realize you forgot a jacket. It’s freezing outside because there’s another three days of winter but you’re not going to let the weather take away your St. Paddy’s Day pride. You enjoy the bagpipes and dancing, but probably have to call out of work the next day because you’re catching a cold from the sneezy kid next to you.

Attending a St. Paddy’s Party

Yes, it’s St. Paddy’s (not St. Patty’s).

Expectations: Finally, another holiday giving you an excuse to spend time partying with friends and family (as if you needed a reason). There will be shamrocks, green drinks, rainbow wreaths, a photo booth to document the occasion, and delicious Irish appetizers. Everyone will be smiling ear to ear and having the time of their life as they feel the luck of the Irish.

Reality: You may have over accessorized with the hat, belt, necklace, bracelets, glasses and face paint but that doesn’t matter because you’re proud to be you (we’re proud of you too). You’re ready for the Irish dance you stayed up learning the night before, and you enter the party to hear the same top 40 pop, hip-hop and country songs you hear at every party. Everyone is wearing an underwhelming amount of green and the specialty drinks are regular drinks with green food dye. Sooner or later you realize this party has little difference from any other party and you go home to wash the face paint off and get ready for work the next day.

Turn your next St. Patrick's Day expectations into reality by planning your next St. Patrick's Day event or party on