It is fitting that we are in St. Louis, Missouri. In St. Louis we love to celebrate, which as you know, is what BREKX is all about!
One of St. Louis’ larger celebrations of the year is St. Patrick’s Day. St. Louisans plan well in advance, logging their vacation day and planning their parties. A popular parade, held in the Dogtown region of St. Louis, celebrates Irish heritage and faith that was brought to America. The festival features a variety of attractions throughout all of Dogtown. There are lots of costumes, beads, and beer to be seen, for sure!
Photo credit St. Louis Post Dispatch
The Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day, following the annual St. Patrick’s Day Run, there is a larger parade, geared more towards families and their children, held in downtown St. Louis. St. Louisans line up their chairs and coolers with friends and family all around. It’s a fun social event with normally pretty mild temperatures to boot.
Photo credit Explore St. Louis
You may be thinking, why is St. Louis so big into St. Patrick’s Day? Well, it began more than 200 years ago. On March 17th, 1820, a small band of Irish settlers gathered to praise St. Patrick. Everyone raised a glass for a toast. This was the first recorded observance of St. Patrick’s Day in St. Louis. The Irish then were a small part of the city’s 4,400 souls. The marching came later.
In the meantime, they would gather to celebrate when reasons came about (which we still do today in St. Louis. Holidays, sports, it’s a Friday… you name it!) It wasn’t until 20 years later, with the migration of 8,000 refugees from Ireland’s potato blight, that gave St. Louis a significant Gaelic emphasis. By 1878, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch debuted a story on St. Patrick’s Day plans announcing the annual parade would follow “custom.”
Photo credit Missouri Historical Society
Celebrating for much of the 20th century was held in downtown St. Louis in hotel ballrooms and dance halls. After World War II, the St. Pat’s parades were hosted by a local suburb, but it wasn’t until 1970 when Joseph B. McGlynn Jr. took the parades to the impressive level they have become.
In 1984, local Hibernians had a dispute with the downtown parade board, and that’s how the annual Dogtown St. Pat’s parade began. Both events now draw huge crowds allowing for a full week of celebration for St. Patrick’s Day.
This St. Patrick’s Day celebrate like St. Louisans do with green beads, beards, and beer! Cheers! 🍻☘️🥳