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St. Paddy's Day in Ireland from a CEA MOJO

Ireland on March 17th is a terrific place to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day! It’s filled with celebration, good humor and loads of fun. I decided to stay in Galway over my St. Paddy’s day, and it was well worth it. There aren't the crowds and major tourism that Dublin carries over this holiday, and all the locals here celebrate by parade, music and a good time. I would highly recommend Galway on St. Paddy’s day, and the following photos illustrate why Galway is such a great choice! 

This photo is from our standing point during the St. Paddy’s day parade. We stood right across from one of Galway’s best bakeries, Griffins, while the parade turned the corner to greet us with all the dancers, singers, musicians, and children participating. 

Here are just a few of the many Irish dancers around Galway during St. Paddy’s day. They danced on a moving float for the entire parade! They were fantastic and had some moves very different from the dancing in U.S. It was one of my favorite floats!

This photo shows the Claddagh Primary School in the parade. They all dressed in their uniforms and played traditional Irish songs on the tin whistle. 

There are opportunities to volunteer during St. Paddy’s day. Suas, an organization that addresses educational disadvantages, painted Shamrocks on people’s faces all day. The Irish lad pictured was a part of this, but my friend, Amanda, decided to return the favor and paint his face with a shamrock! 

Pictured here are some of the friends I spent my day with. We’re a mix of Americans, Canadians and Dutch, but all celebrated like the Irish on this fantastic day. We were standing on Shop Street in this photo, one of Galway’s main and most popular streets to visit.

Galway is renowned for it’s live music, street performers and traditional music events. You will always find a street performer on any given day in downtown Galway, and St. Paddy’s day is no exception. An acoustic guitar, tin whistle and fiddle played some tunes for people walking past all day.

This was the place we got to stay all St. Paddy’s day. It was a rooftop on the shores of Galway bay! It’s one of the many perks of being surrounded by Irish people and their friendliness. One night during a traditional music event, I met a fantastic singer named Eabha (pronounced like Ava). She invited us all over for St. Paddy’s day, and it was fantastic. 

We got to learn a traditional Irish Damhsa Nua (new dance) from two of our Irish friends, Rachel and Eabha. Here we are showing off our new moves on the rooftop where we spent our St. Paddy’s Day.

Here was the view from the rooftop. Immediately you can see Galway Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Off in the distance (on a clear day like this one) you can see the area of Connemara.

Supermacs! This is kind of like the Irish version of McDonald’s. It’s really well-known here and best known to visit after a night out. This was my friend’s first visit to the famous fast food restaurant, and she loved it. Make sure it’s on your list to visit if you’re ever visiting Ireland.

Anna is the Spring 2013 CEA MOJO in Galway, Ireland

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