UPDATE: For the second year in a row, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade has been canceled due to COVID-19. Keep in mind, there are safety guidelines in place for any and all St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. The content below was written for the year’s we’ve had a parade. Please to not host large gatherings.
If you love Southie tradition, St. Patrick’s Day revelry is undoubtedly one of your favorites. Wearing head-to-toe green, guzzling Guinness for breakfast—really, what’s not to love? I’ll tell you what—elbowing your way through the green-clad crowds only to find there’s an hour-long wait and a $25 cover charge at your favorite bar. So, while I applaud those of you brave enough to embark on a bar crawl down the three-mile parade route, I’ll be staying put this year. But don’t worry, I’m not forgoing the festivities altogether (the horror!), I’m just letting the party come to me; I’m hosting an open house. And to make sure all goes smoothly, I’ve done some research. Here, my rules of thumb.
- Stock up on liquor. Don’t shy away from asking guests to b.y.o.b.—but be prepared in case they don’t. Since the parade is on a Sunday, the liquor stores will close early and you don’t want to be that hostwho’s libation-less on the biggest drinking day of the year. My suggestion? Serve up a signature drink. Whiskey and ginger beer with lime juice is always crowd favorite.
- Provide plenty of appetizers. Go for those of the one-bite variety, and don’t be afraid to skip the green food dye—there are other ways to get festive with your food, like serving up Emerald Isle classics like Irish soda bread and mini shepherd’s pies.
- Stock up on mixers, and more importantly, water. As we covered, the parade is on a Sunday, so for those guests who have to work on Monday, hydration will be key.
- Have a guest list. Uninvited guests are a given—trust, they will show up. But when they do? Make sure they’re accompanied by an actual guest, this way, someone’s accountable for them.
- Give your neighbors a heads up. In fact, invite them over for a drink or two, or if they’re not the partying type, bring them over a loaf of your Irish soda bread. The nicer you are, the less likely they are to call the BPD if you’re party gets a bit rowdy.
- Prepare for the aftermath. Instead of winding up with several trash bags full of paper goods, use cloth napkins you can throw into the washing machine at the end of the night. Providing a sharpie to label red solo cups will also help keep post-party waste to a minimum.