Different sides of St. Patrick’s Day

TaLeiza Calloway

A statue of St. Patrick stands outside St. Patrick’s Church on North Depeyster Street in Kent. SEAN DAUGHERTY | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Carl Schierhorn

St. Patrick’s Day is usually a time for celebration. From going out and partying to painting faces green, it can be a time of being wild. However, there is a more serious element to the day. It is also a day of remembrance.

Parades, such as the annual one in Cleveland, are merely a feature of the holiday. From a religious standpoint, this day honors the death of Saint Patrick, who is the patron saint of Ireland. In Ireland, people celebrate by having a parade or attending church. According to Kathie Hoca, resource center coordinator at Vatterott-College of Broadview Heights, the first St. Patrick’s Day parade was in New York on March 17, 1762.

Annual Saint Patrick’s Day Parade

Where? The parade will begin on East 18th Street in Cleveland and continue toward East Roadway, ending at the Cleveland Public Lbrary.

When? 1:04 p.m., Friday, March 17

Theme? Irish art and architecture

“It is the date of his death,” Hoca said. “Irish soldiers marched to commemorate his life.”

Although green beer is a staple of St. Patrick’s Day, not everyone celebrates by drinking and partying. Some students have different things planned. Freshman nursing major Amanda Papcun is not doing the usual party scene. She and a few friends may go to the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Cleveland, she said. Another alternative for her is to meet up with friends from out of town.

“It’s another holiday for people to come together,” Papcun said. “It’s a fun time.”

Joe Williams, sophomore deaf education major, is going home for the holiday. Williams is from Detroit and is going to a special event at his church, St. Cecilia Church.

“We’re having a St. Patrick’s Day dance at my church,” he said. “This is the first year that they’re having it.”

Williams’ girlfriend, Felicia Whitfield, student at Lewis College of Business in Detroit, will also be attending the dance. The Young Adults in Progress group at the church will host the dance, she said.

“They’re having a competition to see who has the best green on,” she said.

Some students are doing the usual thing students do on a school night: studying. Ciara Gowdy, sophomore justice studies major, is not really a party person, she said. She will spend this St. Patrick’s studying.

“It’s during the week,” she said. “I don’t have time to be partying. I have a test.”

On the other hand, some students plan to participate in traditional social activities. Jeanette Nachman, sophomore special education major, said she might go to the bar at 6 a.m. to drink green beer. She is excited because she just turned 21 years old.

“This is my first St. Patrick’s Day where I get to drink green beer,” she said.

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day is a tradition for Mickey Doyle of Brunswick. For as long as he can remember, he and his family do the same things every year: go to the annual parade in Cleveland, go to Moriarty’s Pub in Cleveland and have dinner at his grandparents’ house, he said. His father is a Cleveland police captain and participates in the parade every year.

“It’s a big deal for my family,” he said. “It’s a sentimental thing.”

Growing up, going to the parade was a privilege. Depending on how good his grades were, his mother would allow him to play hooky and go to the parade, he said. He admits that St. Patrick’s Day is his favorite holiday next to the Fourth of July.

The dinner is the main event because it is a time for both sides of his family to get together.

“There’s Irish blood on both sides of my family,” he said.

At the dinner, Doyle says, they eat the traditional Irish dishes such as corned beef and cabbage, but have an assortment of baked pastries and breads. Family members even come from out of town to have dinner for the holiday, he said.

“It almost turns into a mini reunion,” he said.

Contact features correspondent TaLeiza Calloway at [email protected]