When you think of St. Patrick’s Day what comes to mind? The most common image seems to be of every wearing green or getting pinched. Other’s think of Irish music and dance, corned beef and cabbage, parades and of course green beer. These are all come traditions many associate with St. Patrick’s Day.
There are other traditions and ways families like to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. One that many like to celebrate is to go the Shamrock marathon in Virginia Beach, Virginia. This is a qualifying event for the Boston marathon and draws over 18,000 runners from around the country and the world.
This event is more than just a marathon. The Shamrock marathon also features an 8K run/middle school 8K run, a half-marathon, children’s marathon and a sports and fitness expo. This event is a wonderful family event that raises money for numerous charities each year. The marathon is followed by concerts, Irish dancing and of course a finish line celebration.
While St. Patrick’s Day traditions don’t generally bring marathons to mind the Shamrock is a great tradition for young and old alike. What a great way to celebrate, see some world class runners and support many wonderful charities such as Operation Smile, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training (TNT) program, the Virginian Pilot Joy Fund bringing holiday happiness and gifts to nearly 26,000 underprivileged children in Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, City of Franklin, Virginia’s Eastern Shore and Isle of Wight Count, the Mike McGreevy Memorial Scholarship Fund and Hope of the Warriors.
Another different, but interesting tradition some families have established is going to a local theme park on St. Patrick’s Day. There is always fun to be had by all. Irish music and food abound as well as Irish Dancing and even green beer can be found. There of course is the usual theme park fare and rides. This has proven to be a great tradition as there is something for everyone from the youngest toddler to the oldest grandparent. The kids are usually so excited they don’t even realize they are learning just a little bit about Irish tradition and culture. They may get a peak a leapracon and maybe even his pot of gold, eat some Irish stew or corned beef and cabbage, and hear some Irish music. These are not necessarily what they would normally encounter so even though it is a theme park they are learning as the musicians and dancers are from Ireland and will stop to talk. So everyone has a good time and learns some too.
These are not what most people would call normal St. Patrick’s Day traditions, but they have come to be part of many family’s traditions. Not all traditions have to be old. You can always start a new tradition for your family. Take a look around and see what you can do to start a St. Patrick’s Day tradition of your own.