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3 Tips for a Happy (and Safe) St. Patrick’s Day

Each year, millions of people celebrate March 17 – St. Patrick’s Day. Although it began as a celebration and feast day in honor of Ireland’s patron saint, St. Patrick’s Day is no longer only an Irish tradition. The city of Chicago dyes the Chicago River green for several hours, much to the amusement of nearly 400,000 onlookers attending the event. Parades, parties and corned beef and cabbage can be found almost anywhere in America.1

While St. Patrick’s Day can provide ample amounts of entertainment, there are also dangers associated this party-hardy holiday. Here are some ways to have fun — and stay safe — this St. Patrick’s Day.

1) Try an Irish-inspired recipe at home.

Have a hankering for some Irish-inspired food, but don’t have time to brine the brisket yourself? Cook it in the slow-cooker! This recipe from marthastewart.com makes it simple to cook your very own corned beef and cabbage without the hassle of preparing your own brisket.

As an added bonus, they’ll even teach you how to properly slice cabbage.

2) Darby O’Gill and the Little People

Have a family-friendly St. Paddy’s day celebration by watching this fun, quirky film from the 1950’s. Darby O’Gill and the Little People features a “wily old codger”, a tricky leprechaun king, and a rather young Sean Connery. What more could you ask for? Invite the neighbors over for a hilarious adventure through the Irish countryside! 3

3) Plan now to have a sober driver.

If you’re planning to visit the pub this St. Patrick’s Day, please be sure to designate a safe, sober driver. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over St. Patrick’s Day from 2009 to 2013, there were 276 lives lost due to drunk driving crashes. There is no such thing as “okay to drive.” If you have had or plan to have even one drink, experts say you should designate a completely sober driver. Sober drivers should exercise caution, too. Intoxicated pedestrians can stumble into the streets, providing a hazard even to those who aren’t drinking! 4

Make a plan now to get yourself and the ones you love home safely! Don’t have a designated driver? There are plenty of options for you:

  • Call a taxi. Save the number in your speed dial so that when the time comes in the wee hours of the morning, you won’t have to try and search for it.
  • Use NHTSA’s SaferRide app to find a cab. This app can tell your location, then order a cab for you or call a friend to pick you up!
  • Check to see if your community has a ride-share program. Many communities have ride-share programs that allow you to get a ride when you are out for drinks (or otherwise don’t have a ride). Check to see options available in your area beforehand so you can be prepared when St. Paddy’s Day arrives.

 Whether you’re going out for the night or staying in with the family, make sure to have a safe and fun St. Patrick’s Day!

Information provided by
1. http://www.history.com/topics/st-patricks-day/history-of-st-patricks-day
2. http://www.choosechicago.com/event/St-Patricks-Day-ParadeRiver-Dyeing/20254/
3. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0052722/
4. http://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/CAMPAIGNS/Drunk+Driving/Drive+Sober+or+Get+Pulled+Over/Saint+Patrick’s+Day