How to Throw a St. Patrick’s Day Party
How to Plan a St. Patrick's Day Party
There’s more to throwing the perfect St. Patty’s Day bash than simply heading down to the party supply store and snatching up everything green in sight. Learning a little about the holiday and its traditions can give you some good ideas for hosting a get together for your own clan. With the right selection of foods, beverages, and activities, you can keep your partygoers entertained and remind them of the celebration's historical roots.
Decorating for the Party
Put up green streamers and balloons.Line the room from corner to corner with the streamers, or hang them over the entryway to welcome your guests to the party. Use the free-floating balloons to fill in the adjoining ceiling space. If you’re decorating a larger venue, consider hanging up a banner.
- You could also mix-and-match your green decorations with orange and white ones to pay homage to the Irish flag, or deck out the room in rainbow colors as a callback to the leprechaun legend.
- If you’ve got a lot of balloons to inflate, renting a helium tank can save you valuable time (and give your lungs a break).
Set the table in the national colors of Ireland.Cover your dining or refreshment table with a green tablecloth and pick out white plates for your guests to eat on. Tie it all together with orange napkins or plastic cups. Color-coordinating your dinnerware is a simple, inexpensive way to make sure that all the colors of the flag are represented.
- Scatter a handful of green sequins or paper shamrocks over the tabletop to provide the finishing touches.
Display the shamrock proudly.Cover the walls with stick-on decals, or look for garlands with the signature three-leaf shape. Some stores even sell novelty shamrock string lights and other party supplies that are a cinch to throw up around the room.
- Get creative with your use of shamrock decorations. For instance, you could cut out and laminate your own shamrock coasters, or use shamrock-shaped signs to serve as guides for guests visiting your home for the first time.
- The shamrock is one of the unofficial symbols of Ireland, which means it can go anywhere and everywhere on the holiday devoted to the country’s patron saint.
Create a pot of gold using chocolate coins.Fill a plastic pot with candy coins wrapped in shiny gold leaf. You can use your edible arrangement as a centerpiece for the dining table, or assemble a few of them and place them on various surfaces throughout the room. Stick a rainbow made from pipe cleaners or papier-mâché in each pot to lead the way.
- A prop cauldron leftover from Halloween can make the perfect base for your pot of gold.
- If you’re having trouble finding a suitable container, try painting a few small flower pots black and embellishing them with gold or silver glitter.
Keep things casual.St. Patrick's Day is an informal occasion for most people. If you'd rather not go to the trouble of giving your home a green and gold makeover, just call up a few of your closest friends and invite them over for some food, drinks, and laughs. The true spirit of the holiday lies in the joy of coming together in celebration.
- Colorful decorations and accessories may be better suited for workplace festivities and parties aimed at younger kids.
Providing Food and Drinks
Ladle up some green drinks.Squeeze a few drops of green food coloring into the punch bowl to instantly make the contents more St. Patty’s appropriate. If your guests are of legal drinking age, you can offer up something with a little more kick, like green beer or whiskey.
- Guinness, Murphy’s, and Jameson are especially popular brands of brew among lovers of Irish culture.
- Be sure to keep your alcoholic beverages where they’ll be off-limits to younger partygoers.
Offer a tray of green finger foods.Arrange small pieces of broccoli, cucumbers, celery, and green bell peppers around a bowl of guacamole, spinach and artichoke dip, or herb-infused hummus. These items will fit in nicely with the green theme and give your guests something healthy to munch on while they mingle.
- Other hors d'oeuvres you could have on the menu include pesto pasta salad, meat and cheese pinwheels rolled in spinach tortillas, and cups of green Jell-O.
- For those with a sweet tooth, you could also set up a build-your-own cookie or cupcake bar complete with green icing, sprinkles, and candies for decorating.
Serve up a few traditional Irish dishes.Hearty pub favorites like fish and chips and shepherd’s pie can be prepped ahead of time and thrown together in a hurry. Another no-fuss option is to slow-cook an oversized batch of corned beef and cabbage in the crockpot the day before the party. Pair your offerings with boxty (potato cakes) and dig in!
- Bake and slice a couple loaves of soda bread to pass around with your Irish entrees or as a light dessert.
- These sorts of offerings tend to be pretty filling, so advise your guests to limit their pre-dinner snacking or bring a big appetite.
Wash down the meal with an Irish coffee.Combine four parts strong black coffee with one part Irish whiskey, sweeten to taste with granulated brown sugar and top with freshly whipped cream. The melding of sweet, bitter, and creamy notes makes for an incredibly comforting after-dinner treat.
- Be sure to brew the coffee a little strong so the flavor will come through after you’ve added the other ingredients.
- You can whip up a non-alcoholic version of the beverage for those who aren’t old enough to drink using Irish cream-flavored coffee creamer.
Entertaining Your Guests
Put together a playlist of Celtic music.Queue up classic hits from groups like The Dubliners, The Clancy Brothers, and Paddy Reilly to leave on in the background. For a more contemporary touch, include a few choice cuts from Flogging Molly, The Dropkick Murphys, The Pogues, and other Irish-influenced rock bands.
- You might also feature well-known selections from Irish music superstars like U2, Van Morrison, Sinead O’Connor, Enya, and The Cranberries.
- Some more popular Irish folk tunes contain mature themes and language. Make sure the music you play at your party is appropriate for the ages of the people in attendance.
Sing some Irish folk tunes.Come together for a rousing rendition of “Danny Boy,” “Whiskey in the Jar” or “The Fields of Athenry.” If any of your guests are musically-inclined, invite them to bring an instrument and get a full-on jam going. Bagpipes are welcome!
- Print out the lyrics to each songs so that guests who have never heard them can sing along.
Learn about the origins of the holiday.Impress your friends with tidbits of St. Patty’s trivia, like the fact that Saint Patrick wasn’t even born in Ireland, or that more people participate in his namesake celebration than any other national festival worldwide. They might also be surprised to know that the story of St. Patrick driving the snakes out of Ireland was actually an allegory for his role in converting pagans to Christianity.
- Many TV channels run informative specials on the origins of St. Patrick’s Day every year when the holiday rolls around.
QuestionWhat if someone is killed at the party?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerImmediately call your country's emergency number and explain what happened. Do your best to ensure that guests are safe while you wait for the authorities. When they arrive on the scene, they will take over.Thanks!
QuestionWhat would be the best, non-gaudy outfit for the day of the party?Avagc04Community AnswerIf you don't want to go overboard, a simple green t-shirt or dress will be just fine. You don't have to wear clover antennas or green boas to get into the spirit of St. Patrick's Day.Thanks!
- St. Patrick’s Day always falls on the same calendar day, March 17th. It’s a good idea to start planning your party as far ahead of the big day as you can to give yourself plenty of time to get everything together.
- Encourage your friends and family to bring over one of their own favorite Irish dishes or beverages as well.
- If you need a break from the festivities, consider stepping out to take in a local St. Patrick’s Day parade or festival.
- As with any festive occasion, make sure both you and your guests drink in moderation. Be prepared to arrange a ride home for anyone who's had a little too much.
Things You’ll Need
Green food coloring
Traditional Irish foods
Printed lyrics for Irish folk tunes
Sources and Citations
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