Give back this St. Patrick’s Day, and not just in the tip jar

UK fans celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at the game against Iowa State University, in the third round of the NCAA Tournament, in the KFC Yum! Center, on March 17, 2012, in Louisville. Photo by Latara Appleby | Staff

Paidin Dermody

It’s that time of the year — when the sea of UK blue turns shamrock green for the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day festivities. While the official holiday celebrating the patron saint of Ireland is March 17, celebrations will begin the weekend before, on Saturday, March 12. 

Lexington will be having its 36th St. Patrick’s Day parade at 1 p.m. on Main Street, immediately following the Shamrock Shuffle 3K Race. The race will begin that morning at 8 a.m. on Vine Street. 

According to the parade’s website, there will also be an all-day Irish Festival from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Cheapside Park and the Fifth Third Pavilion, featuring Irish music, dancers, food, drinks, apparel, vendors and family activities.

This is a great opportunity to grab a group of people and have fun together, celebrating and learning more about Irish heritage and history. People can have a grand time with their friends at these festivities without buying into the misconception that St. Patrick’s Day is just a holiday to drink green beer. 

There’s a lot more to this holiday than just drinking — St. Patrick’s Day is actually a great time to give back to the community. 

The Ancient Order of Hibernians, an Irish Catholic fraternal organization, was founded in 1836. One of its main goals is to work with local charities, near their numerous regional offices, extending any help and support that they can to their communities. 

The closest division of the AOH is in Louisville. This year, it is doing a lot of charitable work and fundraising for Boys and Girls Haven, a nonprofit that provides shelter, stability and education to abandoned, abused and neglected children, according to its website, as well as productive skills to aid in their future success.

Hopefully the Big Blue Nation will donate to this worthy cause for St. Patrick’s Day instead of chipping in to buy another round of drinks. While St. Patrick’s Day does occur in March, this month has also been named Irish Heritage Month. So, keep the sea of shamrock green all month long and follow in the AOH’s footsteps by showing Irish hospitality and giving back. Visit the AOH Louisville division online at

Paidin Dermody is a journalism freshman.

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