Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated every year on March 17th. It is Ireland’s bank holiday and is now celebrated worldwide. It was initially a traditional Irish Christian festival. Saint Patrick is known as the patron saint of Ireland, where he established Christianity by founding the Church of Ireland. Legend has it that Saint Patrick used a shamrock to represent the Holy Trinity and that the colour green and shamrocks became the symbols of Ireland. Irish people are also known for their love of green and shamrocks.
Over time, this holiday has become a public holiday in Ireland and promotes Irish culture worldwide. Today, the biggest St Patrick’s Day celebration is not in Dublin but in New York, where thousands of people gather to watch a parade. Whether you are an individual, an association or a company, organising a Saint Patrick’s Day-themed event is an opportunity to discover Irish culture, whether gastronomic, musical or otherwise.
Discover the 5 key steps to make your Saint Patrick’s Day event successful!
1. Budgeting for your Saint Patrick’s Day event
Counting on sponsors can be very useful, as they will provide you with material or services in exchange for visibility and publicity.
2. Choose a suitable location
There are several criteria to take into account when choosing the venue. First, the number of attendees must be considered so that the venue is large enough to fit everyone comfortably. Secondly, make sure that the venue is easily accessible.
You can hold the party indoors or outdoors for a Saint Patrick’s Day event. However, as the celebration takes place on March 17th, the sun may not rise. Be aware of the weather forecast and always have an alternative solution in case of bad weather.
3. Prepare decorations and costumes
Decorations and costumes are essential for your event, as Saint Patrick’s Day is a holiday full of legends, culture and tradition.
First, a Saint Patrick’s Day celebration would not be worthy of the name without the omnipresence of the colour green. As already explained, green is the symbolic colour of Ireland, so decorate with green elements such as balloons, napkins and garlands. Don’t forget to include other Irish legends in your decorations: shamrocks, leprechauns, cauldrons… Ireland is a country with many green spaces, so don’t hesitate to add plants, such as small pots with shamrocks.
This is a themed event, so you can ask your guests to dress up. If your budget allows, you can even provide some costumes yourself.
Here are some ideas for Saint Patrick’s Day costumes and accessories:
- A leprechaun hat (with or without a beard) or a full costume.
- Traditional Irish dress: you can wear a green kilt, white shirt, waistcoat, jacket and boots or just a dress.
- The cauldron of a leprechaun.
- A beer tankard: beer is one of the most popular Saint Patrick’s Day drinks.
4. Define your Saint Patrick’s Day activities
To make your Saint Patrick’s Day event as lively as possible, you can include entertainment for the attendees. These can be indoor, outdoor or excursions.
Here is a list of possible activities for Saint Patrick’s Day
- Visit a brewery or distillery
Beer and whiskey are the best-known Irish alcoholic beverages. They don’t stop flowing on Saint Patrick’s Day, and it may be interesting to know how they are made. Guinness is the quintessential Irish beer, and Jameson is the most popular Irish whiskey.
- Special Saint Patrick’s Day Raffle
You can organise a Saint Patrick’s Day raffle around the mythical figure of the leprechaun, often depicted with a cauldron of gold at the end of the rainbow.
- Irish dance classes
Organise an Irish dance class for attendees. Celtic music is typical; if you are lucky enough to have a group of Irish musicians, the class will be even more fun!
- Treasure hunt
Suitable for all ages, the treasure hunt can be especially suitable for St Patrick’s Day if you choose the theme of Irish legends, such as leprechauns!
- Irish music concert
Irish music is a traditional type of music with roots in Celtic culture. Organising a concert with a specialised music group is ideal for Saint Patrick’s Day.
- Fancy dress competition
If you have decided to ask your guests to come in fancy dress, you can organise a competition for the best Saint Patrick’s Day costume.
5. Communicate about your event
A crucial stage in the organisation of your Saint Patrick’s Day party is the communication around your event. It will allow you to notify all the necessary information to the attendees.
You can use an online ticketing or registration system to get a clear idea of how many people will attend your party. This will also give you access to a database of their email addresses for your communications.
Don’t neglect communication channels such as social media or the press. With an online registration system, you can have your own mini-site specific to your Saint Patrick’s Day event and share it with the media and your social media audience.
Once the event is over, consider improving your next event and send them a thank you email. It will be greatly appreciated.