March 17 of every year is dedicated to a religious holiday where people across the world wear shamrock accessories and green attire in fear of getting pinched by peers. But the elementary tradition is now old news, and the showcasing of green attire has a whole new meaning.
St. Patrick’s Day 2011 follows Mardi Gras and Ash Wednesday. Easter Sunday follows St. Patrick’s Day on April 24, closing the 40 days and 40 nights of the Catholic tradition, Lent.
Mardi Gras, also known as Fat Tuesday, precedes Ash Wednesday — the last day to indulge before Lent takes effect until Easter.
I turned 21 years old in 2008, and I participated in my first St. Patrick’s Day outing last year. My boyfriend at the time took the day off from work, and being the nice girlfriend that I am, I volunteered to stay sober and be the designated driver for the evening. This was the first year that I decided to celebrate Mardi Gras, and I quickly regretted my decision soon after arriving at the Tower District.
My jaw dropped after arriving at Grogg’s Traditional Irish Pub at the early evening hours on March 17 last year. The line to enter the establishment was at least an hour wait.
It wasn’t even considered the appropriate time to drink yet, the sun was still out and mothers picking up their children from school were still in route. There was no way that I was going to wait in the huge line.
Kody Cole has been working at Grogg’s for four years under numerous positions. His current position is a cook. That’s four St. Patrick’s Days to be working at the only Irish pub on the northside of Clovis!
Cole said the establishment reached capacity, approximately 500 people indoor and outdoors in the beer garden, by 6 p.m. last St. Patrick’s Day.
Cole said Grogg’s is expected to accommodate more people for Thursday.
Instead of waiting in the three-hour line at Grogg’s, my boyfriend and I went to Red Wave Inn. The line to enter Red Wave Inn was long, but not too bad considering it was St. Patrick’s Day and just about everyone I knew was going out to get a cold glass of green beer.
Girls were dressed in green knee-high socks, glow-in-the-dark shamrock antenna headbands and homemade shirts. I observed men and women chugging beer, and taking shots of hard alcohol. Since I was sober, I couldn’t help but look and observe the crowd-goers.
Similar to Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day is commonly used as a day for some people to partake in drinking alcoholic beverages and having fun with others with the same idea.
It seems that nowadays people are using religious holidays and seasons, like Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s Day, as an excuse to go out and get drunk.
I’ll be sure to wear my annual green shirt tomorrow in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, but only so I don’t get pinched.