Year after year, thousands of people around the world head out on St. Patrick’s Day to seemingly attempt to drink their body weights in green beer. Why? Because it’s tradition! Only…there are so many reasons to avoid a day of binge drinking. The first of which is that it wreaks absolute havoc on your body.
This St. Patrick’s Day, mix it up a little bit: Avoid the hangover, celebrate your liver health, drive safely, and join in on the festivities with these four alternative ideas for celebration:
1. St. Patrick’s Day Parades
With marching bands, shamrock floats, step dancing, and a procession of Irish-themed businesses and service persons, there’s no better way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day than to attend at least one parade, and there are many parades to attend throughout Colorado, from the weekend of March 14th through the weekend of the 21st, sponsored by towns and businesses alike.
2. Throw a Party
Because St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Tuesday night this year, a party without a focus on alcohol might be the only one attended. Your party can start early and almost guarantee your guests a fun, DUI-free ride home and a good night’s sleep. You’ll literally save your guests a headache by offering tasty, green snacks, such as shamrock cookies. Or, you might even consider hosting a St. Patrick’s Day dinner party and serving everyone’s favorite traditional Irish fare, such as bangers and mash or corned beef and cabbage.
No matter what style party, you can prepare a number of festive, non-alcoholic beverages. Keep it simple with iced tea and lemonade, or get into the spirit with some elaborate recipes from one of these sites: Modern Mom, Love to Know Cocktails, Pocket Change Gourmet.
3. Hear Some Live Music
Arguably the best part of St. Patrick’s Day is all of the live, authentically Irish music events. Because everyone wants to get into the spirit, you’ll likely find a number of venues offering bands comprising any ensemble of fiddlers, drummers, bass players, singers, banjos, accordions and concertinas, flutes and whistles, and bouzoukis. If you’re lucky, you may even catch a show with step dancers!
4. Go Out Anyway
If you’re worried that you’ll be missing out on all the St. Patrick’s Day festivities and time with your friends because you’re not drinking, go out and have a good time. There’s really no reason to stay home. Unless there’s a drink minimum at a certain venue — which it’s highly unlikely — you’re guaranteed to have fun, even if you’re staying sober. If this is your first St. Patrick’s Day without alcohol, you’ll be delighted to witness the holiday from a different vantage point — one in which everyone around you will provide a steady stream of silly entertainment, rather than your being an awkward part of the entertainment yourself.
Afraid your friends will think you’re a drag? There’s a high chance they won’t care if you abstain from the liquor. Especially if you offer to be their designated driver (did you know that the police force becomes more vigilant in their lookout for drunk drivers on St. Patrick’s Day?). So just pick them up, save money by ordering a ginger ale at the bar, and observe the funny drunk people. You can do everyone a service by documenting the event and taking pictures — everyone’s favorite person is the photographer, so you certainly won’t be left out.
If you need more any more incentives to embrace sobriety this St. Patrick’s Day, besides the health of your liver, consider the damage binge drinking does to your teeth, your brain, your skin, and more. It’s likely you’ll enjoy the Irish festivities even more when you’re able to taste the richness of the cuisine better, hear the intricacies of the music more clearly, and remember everything the next day. You don’t need to drink to enjoy yourself. Remember, the saying goes, “Kiss Me, I’m Irish!” not, “Kiss Me, I’m Drunk!” And everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day!