New Year’s Eve in Times Square. Oktoberfest in Bavaria. Mardi Gras in New Orleans. If you’ve been there and lived it firsthand, you’re a step towards imagining the experience of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin, Ireland with half a million singing, celebrating & drinking Irishfolk. When it comes to national pride on this most greenest of days, there is no rival.
I was invited by Jameson Irish Whiskey to experience St. Patty’s in the land of clover, as well as to take part in the Jameson Global Broadcast, a gathering of over 30 DJs from around the globe to spread the irrepressible celebration of St. Patrick’s Day in the only place it can truly be called an authentic celebration of Irish pride: Ireland! Broadcasting from the Old Jameson Distillery in downtown Dublin, the DJs spent the day bringing the party to their listeners as I made my way through the mayhem downtown during the annual St. Patrick’s Day Dublin Parade.
More than half a million spectators and 3,000 performers took part in the Dublin Parade, which ran for three hours and stretched through the gorgeous downtown district. The ebullient crowds were an even mix of young partiers and families with children early in the day, but quickly shifted to a more adult atmosphere once the parade came to a finish. As I sit here typing this, I can hear the crowds at the bars outside, singing indecipherably and celebrating with an ecstatic passion the rest of the world has every reason to envy.
Here’s a taste of how the Irish show their St. Patty’s pride:
Between tours of Jameson’s Old Midleton Distillery in the southern coastal region of County Cork (where we learned the centuries-old process of making the smoothest whiskey on Earth), doing shots of their beloved spirit on a gorgeous countryside hilltop or partying like the world’s been painted green on St. Patty’s Day, digging into local culture has never been more fun – or welcomed more warmly. The locals truly are as kind as they’re rumored to be, quick to offer a drink and even quicker with a self-deprecating sense of humor that’s impossible not to love.
Guinness may be the beer champion here in Dublin (13 million pints were estimated to go bottoms up today alone), but when it comes to spirits – particularly whiskey – there’s little doubt that Jameson is a hands-down favorite among the locals. When the glasses are raised and a collective “Sláinte!” is declared (that’s the Irish version of a “cheers!” toast – pronounced “SLAN-cha”), you’re bound to feel at home, whether or not there’s a drop of Irish blood in your veins.
More pics from St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin:
More on Page 2!