Twin Lakes Park was transformed into a little piece of Ireland this past Sunday to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. The crowd – which appeared to be one solid mass of green from a distance – ate, drank and experienced merriment as they enjoyed the gorgeous weather and the sounds of Irish drinking songs played by the Paul Duffy Band. The Drake Irish Dancers and Piping Hot Bagpipers also provided entertainment throughout the day.
The event, which has been thrown by The Irish Rover Pub for the past nine years, welcomed hundreds of visitors. Admission was $8 for adults and free for children under 14.
The festival offered beer – including Guinness – on tap for visitors over 21, as well as traditional Irish cuisine including corned beef and cabbage, haggis and a variety of meat pies.
Though the Irish holiday honors St. Patrick, he was not even Irish. He was born in Britain in the fifth St. Patrick’s Day Celebration century when it was still a part of the Roman Empire. When St. Patrick was 16, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and spent six years in captivity.
After converting to Christianity, St. Patrick returned to Ireland as a missionary and myth has it that the saint rid the island of snakes – though Ireland was never actually home to snakes. Also according to folklore, St. Patrick used shamrocks to explain the Holy Trinity. The tradition of wearing shamrocks in his honor eventually transformed into wearing green.
Today more than 34 million U.S. residents claim Irish ancestry – more than seven times the population of Ireland – and 122 million U.S. residents say they celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Parades and celebrations take place across the country, including dyeing the Chicago River green and the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade watched by two million spectators.
Information from this article taken from history.com.