A dazzling parade, the sweet aroma of corn beef, and an abundance of green made its way to Montgomery County on March 17 for Saint Patrick’s Day. As the holiday rolled around, families around the county eagerly began preparations for the fun annual celebrations. Students and teachers of all backgrounds were seen sporting green in the hallways, and many restaurant deals and county events helped spark an appreciation for Irish culture.
One of the most notable celebrations was the 16th annual Gaithersburg Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, which was held on March 12 at Rio Washingtonian. The parade graced the attenders’ ears with tunes from a pipe and a marching band. Other special features in the parade included animals, Irish dancers, clowns, and fire trucks. Many citizens marched along to the beat of the band, showcasing their enthusiasm for the holiday. Parade-goers were encouraged to wear green, and the more daring of the crowd even dressed up as leprechauns.
After the parade, people had many options to choose from for lunch. Restaurants all around the county featured special cuisines and deals. Former governor Martin O’Malley even performed at the Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club with his “7-Piece Irish band.”
Other restaurants that brimmed with the festivity of St. Patrick’s Day included The Barking Dog, which presented live music and the D.C. Fire Department bagpipers for an all-day St. Patrick’s Day celebration, and the Dogfish Head Alehouse in Gaithersburg, which served delicious meals such as corned beef, cabbage, mash, and the crowd favorite. Irish Whiskey Cake.
Although festivities took place all around the county, many people opted to spend their time relaxing and enjoying the holiday with their family and friends. Since St. Patrick’s Day is not a federal holiday, schools and businesses remained open. However, students still participated in the holiday spirit by wearing green and decorating their outfits with shamrocks and leprechaun accessories.
Northwest High School sophomore Jessica Lou said, “A lot of my friends wore green. Some people went all out; they were wearing green necklaces, shirts, pants, and shoes. I forgot to wear green so I got a lot of pinches.”
Pinching those who are not wearing green is a special and famous traditions on St. Patrick’s Day. From elementary to high school, students of all ages are eager to find friends who have forgotten to wear green in order to pinch them. Another tradition is listening to Irish music, which is a large part of Irish culture. Instruments commonly associated with Irish music include the fiddle, bagpipes, tin whistle, and the bodhran (an ancient type of drum).
No matter how you spend St. Patrick’s Day, Montgomery County is sure to provide plenty of entertainment and festivity for everyone. From the green decorations and attire in schools to the musical march of the parade, St. Patrick’s Day provides happiness, amusement, and maybe even a pot of gold if you are lucky!
Article by MoCo Student staff writer Cindy Song of Richard Montgomery High School