written by: Glen Warchol
Utah would seem to be a particularly forbidding land for St. Paddy’s Day. St. Pat, after all, was a Roman Catholic, revered by less-than-saintly Catholic folk with the tools at hand—green beer, Irish whiskey and tacky plastic derbies.
Mostly Mormon, Utah culture is opposed to alcohol.
Still, it’s a Utah truism that if you are not of THE culture, you cling even tighter to your own. Nowhere are Greeks more Ionic, Jews more Jewishy, Goths darker or nihilists more carefree. Consequently, Salt Lake City’s annual St. Patrick’s Parade may be small, but it is enthusiastically brilliant.
5,500: spectators at SLC’s 2016 St. Pat’s Parade
23: Irish whiskeys purportedly available through Utah DABC. (Of course, on St. Paddy’s Day any whiskey, even vodka, is Irish!)
100: groups, floats, cement mixers, pandering politicians and dogs in the parade.
4 drops: Amount of food coloring needed to green up a pint. A couple more drops, and—voila! You have green teeth, too.
4 wobbly Irishmen led by Francis Welch + 1 bar + innumerable green beers + 15 innocent bystanders + 2 bemused SLC cops = SLC’s first St. Patrick Day parade in 1977