Irish goodbye to the school year

As if spring break festivities weren’t fulfilling enough, another lucky holiday calls for the gathering of college students all across the globe. 

St. Patrick’s day celebrates the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick, who converted the country to Christianity in the 5th century. As generations have continued to commemorate the occasion, March 17 has evolved into a day packed with green booze, leprechauns, rainbows, and Irish jigging. Those with Irish heritage get the opportunity to flaunt their roots, as millions of people in America are ancestors of the country. 

Restaurants and bars located in cities with universities take advantage of the mosh of green-accessorized college kids hurdling their way, with specialty deals and events to draw in a crowd with jingling pockets of gold doubloons. Establishments in the Mankato area such as the 507, Tav on the Ave, Rounders Sports Bar and Grill, Pub 500 and more used Irish-themed marketing strategies to promote their businesses, serving a variety of green cocktails and Irish cuisine. Mankato State and surrounding colleges supplied them many customers, as the day is tremendously popular for university students. 

If you happened to find yourself in downtown Mankato Friday, you were likely shivering from pub to pub with the low temperatures and high wind chill. You may have also had to fight your way through a sea of green to venture into the next bar. Whatever the case may be, the celebration was jam-packed with people, with lines out the door at locations like Rounders. 

Celebrating the holiday as an elementary student in comparison to nowadays is like night and day. I recall the morning of every St. Patricks day from over a decade ago, where I eagerly pulled a green t-shirt over my head and ran to the bus, hoping to walk into a classroom filled with gold dust and little green footprints. Now, I wake up to the hymns of Irish music and chug Irish car bombs to prepare for the day. 

St. Patrick’s day is widely celebrated due to its location on the calendar, as students need something to look forward to at this point in the year. The fun-filled holiday lands in the smack dab middle of March, a month that is rather long and cold for us Minnesotans. This is also the month where students are chugging along to reach the end of the semester.

With Spring just around the corner, students are eagerly anticipating the end of the academic year. For those who graduate in May, this might be the last big celebration they have in the books for their college experience. Whatever the case may be, St. Patricks day is a day to show pride for the Emerald Isle, and spend time with good company before splitting up over summertime. 

Header Photo: Spectators watch the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade, Sunday, March 19, 2023, in Boston’s South Boston neighborhood. (Steven Senne/The Associated Press)

Write to Mercedes Kauphusman at mercedes.kauphusman@mnsu.edu

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.