St. Patrick’s Day Parties

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St. Patrick’s Day Parties You’ll Still Remember The Next Morning


With more than 33 million (around 10% of) Americans identifying as Irish-American, it stands to reason that St. Patrick’s Day is a pretty big deal here. However, if you’re working to keep entertained a family of young children, your party mad cousin, and your teetotaler aunt, you need holiday solutions that are enjoyable for such a diverse crowd. Try these ideas for St. Patrick’s Day
parties and celebrate the luck of the Irish!


Personality Party

If your guests are good for a little game, try a personality party. Much like the popular Mystery Party, your guests will assume the role of another person for the evening. The twist here is that your guests will dress and act like famous Irish personalities. As the host, you will give each guest their assigned “personality” when they accept the invitation. Choose characters that are well-known and will be fun to inhabit. Do a little research to provide a character dossier; include a photo, notable achievements (or misdeeds), and suggestions for acting out the role. When your guests arrive in character, start with a short reception with refreshments and appetizers to get the fun going. Introduce your guests to each other with a clue to make them more comfortable in their character’s role. At dinner, keep conversation flowing and clues coming (especially so that those who aren’t Irish history buffs don’t feel left out). Even someone who doesn’t know much about history will enjoy over-the-top caricatures – it’s especially fun if your guests play someone very dissimilar from their everyday personality. At the end of dinner, ask guests to write down their best guesses for the other guests’ characters. Close the night with a “reveal,” where each guest shares a few last facts about their character and unmasks themselves. Give a prize (with an Irish theme, of course!) to the attendee who guessed the most personalities correctly.

One little side note: Make sure your prizes are appropriate for all guests. It may be tempting to offer a bottle of Irish whiskey to the winner, but many people who don’t drink may want to attend your shindig in sobriety, and a well-intended, theme-appropriate bottle of alcohol may make them feel uncomfortable. It’s best to stick with something more neutral, like a gift card to a coffee shop or popular restaurant.


Notables Quiz

If your friends might shy away from a full-on role play, a quiz is a great way to get people involved while avoiding discomfort for those who are shy. Try an “Irish Notables” or an Irish History Quiz. On sheets of bright green paper, make a list of famous Irish people – Biography has a great list to get you started. For each famous Irish person, make a photocopy of their picture and their (short) bio. Paste the photo onto the front of the green paper, and the bio on the back. Number each photo. Put the completed bios on a string (similar to pennants or prayer flags), and affix to your wall, with the photo facing out and the bio facing the wall. After your guests have snacked on shamrock cookies and green hummus, give each guest a piece of lined paper and pencil. Invite them to go around the room and identify as many of the famous Irish people they can. Once everyone has had a chance to make their guesses, assemble your guests and read the correct answers. People get very competitive! Offer a prize to the person who correctly identifies the most people.


Painting the Town Green

If your party will be a roving band of fun, it’s good to plan your night according to the preferences of everyone, but it’s especially important to pay attention to the needs of those who do not drink. You’ll want them to feel equally included in the merriment.
Look for places that have specials for designated drivers or those choosing to stay sober.
Oftentimes pubs and restaurants will even offer free non-alcoholic green drinks (think mocktails and fun sodas) to those who are abstaining. If you have children in tow, you’ll want to make sure your stops include options for kids (i.e. St. Patty’s-themed finger foods, green milk, etc.).

Use these ideas or draw inspiration from them to find your own way to celebrate Irish history and your Irish roots. Your guests will have a memorable evening, and no one has to endure green beer!


A special thank you to our guest writer for this article:

Sarah Lockwood, Co-Founder, The Prevention Coalition

Sarah is a a retired social worker. She co-created ThePreventionCoalition to provide an online forum for people seeking information about substance abuse.


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