Hosting your own St Patrick’s Day

If you don’t have St Patrick’s Day plans organised yet you better get those emerald skates on, because the 17th of March is mere days away. With the pandemic bringing a halt to our parties and parades the last couple of years, I’m sure many of you will join me in my excitement for the much awaiting Paddy’s Day 2022. I’ve got a few tips and tricks up my sleeve to help lay out the ‘greenprints’ for the perfect Patrick’s day party – and there’s a little something for every kind of celebration.

 

First up – decorations! With our March theme of Glás still fresh in my mind, I’m all for going all out green on this one: emerald streamers, lime tablecloths, mint napkins – you name it! However, if you’re looking to vary the hue slightly, there’s always the option to mix things up.

Why not repurpose those Halloween cauldrons as pots of gold to add a touch of sparkle to the festivities? Of course, filling them with real precious metals would be a costly affair – so settling for the leftover gold coins from Christmas would likely be preferable. If your house is anything like mine, then you may just find that those gold coins have magically disappeared round about St Stephen’s Day – but you can usually find suppliers selling them all year round. As well as looking marvellous, they can provide a sweet little takeaway for your guests when the time for the parting glass swings by.

 

Of course, a well laid table is a decoration in itself, and these tasty shamrock shaped cookies double as a treat for the eyes as well as the tastebuds! If you want to make your meal the main event then hop on over to our St. Patrick’s Day Feast blog for plenty of ideas on a truly Irish at Heart Dinner party.

If you’re just sticking to a few snacks, make sure that they’re all on theme – which is pretty easy to do if you set your mind to it. As those of you who read up on the triquetra during our Ancient East theme last year will know, the number three was thought to have magical properties back in the days of Celtic paganism – and the same is true for contemporary decorations – especially if you stick to a tricolour scheme.

 

It can be as simple as icing your cupcakes from three different coloured bowls, and arranging the desserts to form a beautiful Irish flag. Last time we did this we found a nifty way to recycle some of our Irish at Heart boxes, with guests helping themselves to some of the party leftovers.

Not got such a sweet tooth? The same trick can be applied to your classic trio of dips – whip up (or buy) some trusty guacamole, a sour cream and chive, and lay them right next to a smooth red pepper hummus – giving your guests a tasty trifecta of green, white and gold. Remember to triple check the order of the colours though, otherwise you may just end up with an Ivory Coast-themed gathering!

Where’s there’s food, there must of course be something to wash it down with – and in this instance you simply can’t go wrong with some chilled cans of Guinness. However, if you want to show off your mixology skills you can head to our St. Patrick’s Day Cocktail blog where we have a delightful assortment of drinks just waiting to be served up!

 

While this is all on the go, you’ll want to have a bit of party music on in the background, and for this you will most certainly need an Irish at Heart playlist. Decide whether you want to stick to the contemporary classics such as U2 and Snow Patrol, or whether you’d like to kick things off with an all-out trad session featuring The Dubliners and Clannad. You’ll find plenty of inspiration on our Irish Love Songs and Ireland’s International Top Ten Bands and Musicians blogs, just be sure to pick a few crowd pleasers – it's simply not a St. Patrick’s Party without a good old fashioned sing along!

 

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Whilst we’re on the topic of singalongs, if you or any of your friends are musically gifted – now would be the perfect time to show it off! Nothing brings people together more than a guitar in the middle of the room (as long as the player’s repertoire extends beyond “Wonderwall”). However, if musical instruments are off the table, then you can always look for some Irish karaoke on YouTube – just remember that the quality of singing could decline in direct correlation with the number of cocktails served…

Of course, there’s always plenty of things going on come the 17th of March, and if you live in a bustling city such as New York, Dublin, or Boston – it might be a shame not to get out and about and enjoy the atmosphere. Luckily, there’s an excellent way to combine your very own St. Patrick’s Day event with the festivities beyond your front door.

 

I am talking of course, of a scavenger hunt! Set the time for your celebrations, and before they begin – give all of your guests a list of things that they either have to photograph or collect in order to gain entrance to the after party. This can be anything from a photo of them drinking a Guinness in a bar, to collecting something shamrock shaped, or even getting a voice message from a stranger reciting something in Irish! There’s lots of fun ways to get creative with this, and you can make the list as long or as short as you want. First one back having completed all their tasks gets to chose the forfeit for all that follow…

 

Oh – and of course, when it comes to the dress code? A touch of Glás is always necessary! What’s your favourite way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Let me know in the comments below and, ‘Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona duit’ when it comes!

 

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