Celebrate the History of St. Patricks Day in Southwest Colorado!
With St. Patrick’s Day fast approaching we thought it might be fun to delve into some of the history and traditions associated with this most fun holiday.
While St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, he was not actually Irish. Patrick was the son of Calpurnius, a Roman-British army officer, and was born in either Scotland or Roman England. His real name was probably Maewyn Succat. Though Patricius was his Romanicized name, he later came to be familiar as Patrick.He was growing up as naturally as other kids in Britain, until when he was about 16 years old, when one day a band of pirates landed in south Wales and kidnapped this boy along with many others. Then they sold him into slavery in Ireland. He was there for 6 years, mostly imprisoned.
Eventually Patrick did escape and went back to Britain and then on to France, where he joined a monastery and studied under St. Germain, the bishop of Auxerre, for around 12 years. Once Patrick became a bishop himself he was said to have had a dream that the Irish were calling him back to Ireland to teach them about God. So with the blessing of the Pope he returned to Ireland and began converting the Gaelic Irish to Christianity.
Patrick was very successful at winning converts. Through active preaching, he made important converts even amongst the royal families. This fact upset the Celtic Druids who had Patrick arrested several times, though he escaped each time. For 20 years he traveled throughout Ireland, establishing monasteries, schools and churches across the country which would aid him in his conversion. He developed a native clergy, fostered the growth of monasticism, established dioceses, and held church councils.
St. Patrick is believed to have died on March 17th, 461A.D. That day has been commemorated as St. Patrick's Day ever since. There are many legends associated with St. Patrick. The symbol of the shamrock used for St. Patrick's Day comes from the story of St. Patrick using the shamrock to illustrate the Holy Trinity. The three-leafed plant coincided with the Pagan religion's sanctity of the number three and is the root of the green color theme.
St. Patrick's Day was first celebrated in America in 1737, organized by the Charitable Irish Society of Boston, including a feast and religious service. This first celebration of the holiday in the colonies was largely to honor and celebrate the Irish culture that so many colonists had been separated from.
In New York, the first celebration took place as a small gathering at the home of an Irish protestant. St. Patrick's Day parades started in New York in 1762 by a group of Irish soldiers in the British military who marched down Broadway. This began the tradition of a military theme in the parade, as they often feature marching military units. The holiday eventually evolved from the modest religious dinner into the raucous holiday we know today. Parades and wearing green have always been a traditional part of St. Patrick's Day celebrations, but the events will vary based on the city.
Here in Ouray we have several locations for you to enjoy the holiday; if you are so inclined to start your holiday with a St. Patrick’s Day Mass check with St. Daniel’s Catholic Church, or you can start at O’Brien’s Pub with a traditional meal of Corned Beef and Cabbage and a freshly built Guinness to wet your whistle. On a typical day, Americans drink about 600,000 pints of the Dublin-based beer. But on St. Patrick's Day, about 3 million pints of Guinness are downed, according to Guinness.
If you keep a close eye out you might just find the elusive Shot Fairy running around town with a bottle of Jameson Whiskey. If you can’t find her around town make sure to duck into the Silver Eagle Saloon and have a shot or two and maybe shoot a game of pool on the only pool table in town. Just don’t forget to wear your green or you may just get pinched!
About the Author: Morgan McDaniel is a Ouray County native. After graduating high school, Morgan continued through college, and spent some time out of Colorado. Recently, she returned to Ouray, and can be found pursuing a number of activities, as well as the occasional cameo appearance at the Silver Eagle. Morgan is also the newest member of our front desk team at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs.
Come in and say hello!
Who would have thought - St. Patrick's Day in the Switzerland of America!?!
Ouray has found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! You can often find a leprechaun or two at O'Brien's Pub on his special day, celebrating the Irish holiday with $4.00 Irish Car Bombs and half price pints of Guinness all day to complement the Special Menu filled with your favorite Irish dishes and give-aways all day and into the evening.
From 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm, get your groove on with The "3 Irish Men", then take a break, to wander through town, or enjoy a relaxing soak in our natural mineral hot springs before heading back out to dance the night away to the foot tapping tunes of Funkdafari from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am.
Just a block down from the Pub, you may find an Irishman or two sitting out on the large patio enjoying a Green Pizza and washing it down with a pitcher of green beer! Other specials in honor of Sain Patrick's Day will be on the menu, including Corned Beef and Cabbage.
Of course, there is more to do than hang out at the pub all day, not that that isn't fun....There are a number of winter activities for the family right here in town! Vinegar Hill is just up the street on 6th Avenue, and ready for a fantastic sledding experience, or, if you feel like skiing but don't want to head out of town, Lees Ski Hill is a great spot for families to practice their skills at no charge, and of course the Ice Park is still in great condition for a few climbs of your own or to watch these athletes scale walls of ice.
Shopping in March can be quite fun, shops on Main Street have a variety of treasures, and the friendly service of local shopkeepers will entertain and enlighten travelers to a number of interesting facts and activities in Southwest Colorado.
If you aren't in the mood for Irish food, do not fear! Several other local restaurants will be open and offering fantastic dining options.
Artisan Bakery - Fresh baked goods, Ouray style! Open daily 6:00 am to 2:00 pm
Backstreet Deli - Breakfast burritos and loaded sandwiches! Open daily 7:00 am to 6:00 pm
Bon Ton - Great Italian Food, Open daily 5:30 pm to close
Buen Tiempo - Santa Fe Style Mexican food with flair! - Open daily 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm
Gold Belt - Pizza, sandwiches and more! - Open Tuesday through Sunday 11:00 am to close
O'Brien’s Pub - Irish food and fun! - Open Wednesday through Monday 11:00 am to 9:00 pm for dining, bar only - 9:00 pm to close
Outlaw Steakhouse - Steak, Seafood and Pasta old west style! Open Tuesday through Sunday, 5:00 pm to close
Ouray Brewery - Eclectic menu to compliment a great variety of microbrews! Open daily, 11:00 am to 9:00 pm
Come stay in our Green Hotel and celebrate the "Luck of the Irish" with the Box Canyon Lodge!
Ouray Colo packs a punch this spring break. Wildlife viewing abounds and you can enjoy various winter activities while in Ouray or Ridgway; ice climbing is still safe and accessible at the Ouray Ice Park and ice climbing instruction is available through San Juan Mountain Guides. You can also check out these things to do during your stay as March 2011 dishes up several fun events. Contact us at our hotel in SW Colorado and we can be sure to have your tickets waiting for your arrival at our establishment in the San Juan Mountains. We are delighted to help you arrange things to do in Ouray or Ridgway in advance.
March 4 & March 5, 2011, Mountain Film on Tour: The dZi Foundation brings Telluride's international film festival to the Ouray Community Center on Friday March 4 and Saturday March 5, 7-10pm. Films are hand selected from the finalists at Telluride Mountainfilm, with themes of adventure, mountaineering, remarkable personalities, and important environmental and social messages. Different Films each night.
Doors open: 6:30pm
Beer provided by Colorado Boy, Ridgway's finest Pub & Brewery
Silent Auction: outdoor clothing and gear, textiles, jewelry and photos from India & Nepal
Location Details: Ouray Community Center, 320 6th Avenue, Ouray CO
March 5, 2011, Live Music: Big'Ns is back! Come listen to the hottest Irish Rock band from Pagosa Springs, starting at 9:30pm at O'Briens Pub.
March 12, 2011, Wine and Whiskers: Second Chance Humane Society is hosting the 4th Annual Wine and Whiskers Carnival. This Mardi-Gras themed fun(d)-raiser includes complimentary wine and beer (2 drinks per person), decadent chef samplers from local chefs throughout San Miguel and Ouray Counties, cash bar, a live and silent auction stocked with over 300 items and the sizzling and dazzling Fashion Cabaret! The evening concludes with dancing to the eclectic tunes of DJ Antone. Tickets are only $40.00 at the door or in advance at the Second Chance Thrift Shop. The fun begins at 6:00pm at the 4H Center in Ridgway. Visit www.secondchancehumanesociety.org or call (970) 626-2273 for further details.
March 13 - Daylight Savings Begins - Don't forget to set your clocks ahead 1 hour!
March 17 - St. Patrick's Day: Ouray's own O'Briens Pub features Irish music all day long as well as Irish specialties of the house. Anticipate an all out party well into the next day with live music.
March 19, 2011: Come Join the St. Patrick's Day Weekend festivities in Ouray for an evening of Rocky Mountain Celtic Music & Ceilidh (Traditional Irish Dancing) Dancing at the Wright Opera House in Ouray.
Good friends Kim McKee and Ken Willson return to Ouray County with new music but familiar instruments and talent. Kim is a world champion mountain dulcimer musician joined by her husband on the Celtic harp, hammer dulcimer, accordion, Irish bouzouki, bodhran and guitar! The evening will be finished off with a chance to participate in some ceilidh dancing (Irish round dancing). Great evening of Irish fun for the whole family!
Tickets - $15 (pre sale or online at ocpag.org), $18 at door, $5 students (16 and under)
Tickets available online or in person at Buckskin Booksellers in Ouray, Cimmaron Books in Ridgway, Mouse's Chocolates in Ouray, and The Coffee Trader in Montrose.
This show is appropriate family fun and suitable for all ages.
Contact: Mariah DeGear: firstname.lastname@example.org
Don't forget about our Hot Spring Break Special if you want a sweet hotel discount too!