Know Your St. Patrick’s Day Facts

The Am O’Gansett and Westhampton Beach St. Patrick’s Day parades will usher in joyful revelry and wearin’ of the green a bit early this weekend. Call it a dress rehearsal for the big event in Montauk and Hampton Bays next week. And if you really want to impress fellow parade goers, remember these little-known facts about our annual celebration of all things Irish.

March 17 marks the anniversary of the death of St. Patrick, who brought Christianity to Ireland, in the fifth century AD. The Shamrock is associated with St. Patrick, because he is believed to have used it to teach the Christian doctrine of three people in one God.

There are 34.7 million US residents who claim Irish ancestry, and Massachusetts leads the charge with the greatest percentage. That’s more than than seven times the population of Ireland.

Eighty three percent of Americans will wear green on March 17.

The world’s first recorded St. Patrick’s Day parade took place in Boston in 1737. But New York City boasts the longest continuously running parade. It’s been going strong since March 17, 1762 and is now the world’s largest, beating even Dublin, Ireland.

On any given day, 5.5 million pints of Guinness are poured around the world. That number more than doubles to 13 million on March 17. The Guinness factory in Ireland was leased by founder Arthur Guinness for 9,000 years in 1759, guaranteeing that Ireland’s most famous suds will be poured until at least 10,759.

There are 10 cities in the U.S. named Dublin, with the most well-known being Dublin, Ohio. Other Irish-themed, American cities: Limerick, ME; Erin, NY, Ireland, WV; Clover, SC; Saint Patrick, MO and Shamrock, TX.

There are no snakes in Ireland, because St. Patrick sent them all away.

“The Scots have their whisky, the Welsh have their tongue, but the Irish have Paddy, who’s second to none!”

St. Patrick was born in Britain, not Ireland.

The Chicago River is famously dyed green for the occasion. But rumor has it that the Savannah River was the first to attempt to go green. Unfortunately, the river’s current was too strong for the color to stay, and some slight animosity still exists toward the Windy City for stealing the idea.

The 5th Annual Am O’ Gansett St. Partick’s Day Parade begins at 12:01 p.m. on Saturday, March 9 on Main Street in Amagansett.

The 46th Annual Westhampton Beach St. Patrick’s Day Parade begins at noon on Saturday, March 9 at Mill Road and Main Street in Westhampton Beach.