As you hunker down with a Guinness — or a green milkshake — to celebrate the patron saint of Ireland who converted pagans to Christianity, take note of these lesser-known St. Patrick’s Day festivities nationwide. Who knows: maybe you’ll spend next March 17 in St. Patrick, Missouri.
- Meet Some Irish People. On Tuesday, March 19, President Barack Obama will (belatedly) exchange shamrocks with Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, a tradition that dates back to 1952 when President Harry S. Truman received a box of shamrocks from Irish ambassador John Joseph Hearne. Obama and Kenny also will attend a St. Patrick’s Day lunch at the U.S. Capitol. That same day, the President will meet with Northern Ireland’s First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness to “discuss their progress toward meeting their shared commitment to a peaceful and prosperous future for the people of Northern Ireland.”
- Drink Something Green. The Dubliner, an Irish Pub in Washington D.C. that President Obama patronized last year on St. Patrick’s Day, told Eater that it served more than 500 green Jello shots that day.
- Let Your Flag Fly. An Irish pub in Florida called Culhane’s will finally be able to fly the Irish flag, now that the community of Atlantic Beach, Fla. has suspended a city ordinance that prohibits the flying of foreign flags.
- Try Something Different. In the event you’re craving Italian instead of the traditional corned beef and cabbage, Chicago’s Frasca Pizzeria & Wine Bar — which uses beer in its pizza crusts — is making its pies with Guinness just for St. Patrick’s Day. Meanwhile, the potato-themed pizza at Francoluigi’s in Philadelphia is chock full of French Fries, ranch dressing, broccoli, bacon, Cheez Whiz, American cheese, mozzarella cheese, and parsley.
- Have Beer with Dessert. Also on the food front, Puddin’, a dessert shop in New York City, boasts a beer cream puff — Irish soda bread on the outside, pudding made with Brooklyn Lager’s Dry Irish Stout on the inside.
- Turn Green with Envy. While the Windy City may dye the Chicago River green, Sin City is trying its own twist on the holiday. Workers on the Vegas Strip will swap in green light bulbs for its normal yellow blinkers on the famous “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign.
- Do Some Traveling. In case you were wondering: according to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 13 places in the U.S. named Dublin, after (we assume) Ireland’s capital. The biggest is Dublin, Calif., with 43,572 people. There are also seven Shamrocks — in West Virginia, Texas, Indiana, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Nebraska and Missouri.
- Send a Letter. Historically, people have flocked to the post office in St. Patrick, Missouri, on Mar. 17 to get their holiday cards postmarked from St. Patrick. Tourists also visit the St. Patrick Shrine, which boasts Celtic crosses and 37 stained glass windows made in Dublin. And more recently, some have been sticking around for the Irish Road Bowl. Similar to bocce, the game requires each team to roll a “bowl, or bullet, down the road to a certain destination. The team to make it there in the least rolls wins the game,” KHQA reports. Here’s how it’s done: