You’ve probably heard about St. Patrick’s Day festivities involving green beer, whiskey, and other alcoholic beverages. If you’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day sober, it may seem like it’s not a welcoming holiday for someone abstaining from booze. However, there are many alcohol-free events happening on St. Patrick’s Day that you can enjoy if you know where to find them. If you’re looking forward to a healthy and sober St. Patrick’s Day, here are a few ways to celebrate the day sans alcohol.
St. Patrick’s Day Parades
Many cities hold St. Patrick’s Day parades that are kid-friendly and alcohol-free, from Boston to Chicago, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and more. Check your city’s events website or local newspaper to find out what events are taking place on and around St. Patrick’s Day in your area.
St. Patrick’s Day Fairs and Festivals
In addition to parades, many areas hold fairs or festivals around St. Patrick’s Day featuring music, food, activities, artists, vendors, and more. With so many things to do, you can keep yourself busy and your mind off of alcohol. If you have a skill such as caricature drawing, sign up as a vendor at a nearby festival to spend the day bringing smiles to people’s faces.
St. Patrick’s Day Runs and Marathons
If you’re striving to live a healthier lifestyle, participating in a St. Patrick’s Day run or marathon is the perfect way to spend the day. Enlist a few friends to participate with you and order some custom t-shirts or hoodies for your group to commemorate the day.
Traditional Irish Meals for St. Patrick’s Day
Many families get together for big holiday meals. Why not start a holiday meal tradition for St. Patrick’s Day? Try your hand at preparing some traditional Irish fare such as corned beef and cabbage, Irish soda bread, bangers and mash, or beef stew, and top your meal off with a tasty piece of Irish apple cake with custard sauce, bread pudding, or blueberry scones. If you’re missing the usual green beer, green fruit punch makes for a great substitute while keeping in the green tradition for the day.
Volunteer Opportunities on St. Patrick’s Day
If you’re looking for a way to give back, the many events happening across the U.S. and in Europe mean there are abundant opportunities for getting involved with the community. Volunteer for your local parade or fair committee, sign up to spend the day in a soup kitchen preparing and serving food to the homeless, or get involved with a local youth program to help the younger set celebrate the day. Cities like St. Louis that host large-scale events are always in need of volunteers to bring the day’s festivities together.
St. Patrick’s Day is a day to celebrate, but many people associate the holiday with drinking. With some people giving up alcohol for Lent, others in recovery from alcoholism, and still others who simply prefer to abstain from alcohol for personal or religious reasons, that leaves many people feeling left out of the usual alcohol-infused events. But with so many healthy ways to celebrate the holiday, there’s no need to feel left out of this year’s celebrations.
Guest post from Sarah Lockwood: Sarah Lockwood is a former social worker, and understands the difficulties young people and their loved ones face when drug use becomes an issue.