Every March 17th, even if you're not Irish, you pretend like you are!
We spend the day preparing for a night we probably (and maybe even hope) we won't remember.
Now you might not feel completely enthralled and excited about reading these St. Patrick's Day fun facts, but trust me, you'll be the life of the drunken party when you can spew out these random tid-bits and impress your friends!
--Did you know St. Patrick wasn't even born in Ireland?! And his real name isn't even Patrick, for that matter. He was likely born around 387 A.D and was born as Maewyn Succat in Britain (which was then part of the Roman Empire). Legend has it that he was sold into slavery when he was only 16, was held in captivity for 6 years, becoming religious during that time, escaped back to Britain, became an ordained Priest and decided to go by Patrick, and then started his mission converting Irish pagans to Christianity.
--St. Patrick's day is celebrated on the date of his death, which is believed to be somewhere around 460 A.D. All this time many people believe this day marks his birthday, sanctification, etc. But nope, it's the day of his death!
--Did St. Patrick really get the snakes out of Ireland? Much to disbelief, he did not. There were never actually any snakes in Ireland at that time, and some say it's more of a metaphor for him driving out paganism from the country.
--Was the shamrock really used by St. Patrick for his teachings? While it can't be proven or disproved, it's believed he used the three sides of the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity--God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.
--St. Patrick's day was first celebrated by people of Irish decent in Boston in 1737, as a way to keep their heritage alive. Ireland didn't even start celebrating the holiday until 1903! Some historians even credit America solely for the popularity of this holiday, where it's thought the massive festivities in America are what lead to pubs and bars in Ireland to open on the holiday in the 1960's.
Alright, enough with the "history nerd" stuff...here's some delicious and interesting St. Patrick's Day FOOD facts!:
--Guinness should take the Guinness world record for the most beer ever drank on a holiday (see what I did there?). Worldwide consumption of Guinness almost triples on St. Patrick's Day, from 5.5 million pints on a regular day to 13 million pints. Cheers to 150 pints per second!
--Corned beef eating was actually invented by Irish people living in New York, not even native Irish people started that! That might explain why in the U.S. over 26 billion pounds of beef and 2 billion pounds of cabbage are produced during this time of the year. And the majority of that beef comes from Texas, and most of that cabbage comes from California.
--And that original Guinness Brewery in Dublin? Yea, it has a 9,000 year lease...
--And that oh so delicious Bailey's Irish Cream we (all) love was launched in Ireland in the 1970's, is now the most popular liqueur in the world.
--"A side of mashed, please." If you didn't know this already, most everything in Irish cuisine centers around potatoes. Whether they're mashed, boiled, roasted, smashed, fried, or however you eat em', they're delicious. Chef's at the best Irish restaurants in the world will tell you no meal, even the fanciest, 5-star one, isn't complete without them. Sadly, The Great Potato Famine that struck during the mid 1800's killed nearly one million people during a span of five years.
So how can you get your Irish on in our scruffy city of Knoxville?
Here's a great list of events, festivals, and more going on in our green little city!:
--The big, general "Knox Shamrock Fest" or "2017 Irish Festival" kicks off Friday March 17th at 3pm and runs until 7pm, starting again Saturday March 18th at 10am in Market Square, ending at 4pm. This two day, festivity filled festival is perfect for the entire family, and features live music, inflatables, slides, obstacle courses, a carousal, food vendors and more, and promises to be a lucky time!
*Find out more information HERE
-Friday, March 17th, starting at 7pm is the ever-popular Knoxville St. Patrick's Day Parade. The first ever city-sanctioned parade in Knoxville was way back in 1869. Proceeds from this event benefit Catholic Charities of East Tennesse and the East Tennessee Kidney Foundation.
*To find more about this year's parade, click HERE
--The Old City is also hosting a Pub Crawl starting after the parade at 8pm. For just a $10 wristband fee, you can get into 7 different Old City venues, with proceeds benefiting the Historic Old City Association.
*To find out more, check out their Facebook event page HERE
--East Tennessee Kidney Foundation's Lucky Kidney Run happens on Saturday March 18th at 10am, and features a 6k and 2k course. These two different runs go through Market Square and Gay Street and surrounding streets, and promises to be a fun (and healthy) time in Knoxville
*Read more about these fun runs HERE
--And last, but DEFINITELY not least, you can hop on one of downtown Knoxville's most exciting, tasty and delightful food tours our "scruffy city" has to offer!
We've got our yummy five restaurant, three hour Chef's Table food tours running Friday March 17th and Saturday March 18th from 2-5pm.
You can also cure your hangover blues with a Sunday Bountiful Brunch food tour on Sunday March 19th from 1:30-3:30pm, joining us on a three restaurant, two hour brunch extravaganza.
Any of these Knoxville food tours would be a wonderful addition to your planned St. Patrick's day events, and space will soon fill up, so book your tour today!
And just as a "thank you" for making it down to the end of the blog, we've got a special discount that's good starting now through the END of March!
Type in code STPATKNOX when checking out, and you'll get 15% OFF your entire booking!