By Irish Echo Staff
Saint Patrick’s Day will be celebrated around the world on March 17 in a series of events hosted by Ireland’s embassies and consulates worldwide. And that includes a celebration of Irish America, “Shades of Green” to be hosted by the Irish Embassy in Washington, D.C.
Announcing the 2021 St Patrick’s Day plans, Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Minister Coveney said: “For a second year our St. Patrick’s Day celebrations abroad will be greatly limited by this pandemic.
“To meet this challenge, Ireland’s network of diplomatic missions are planning a series of virtual community, business and artistic events in lieu of their traditional program of activities and visits.
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“Although these can never replace an in-person celebration, they will enable us to uphold the quintessential St. Patrick’s Day tradition of gathering the Irish and the friends of Ireland together to celebrate our heritage and the ties that bind us. This St. Patrick’s Day we will celebrate the spirit of solidarity and the commitment of our communities abroad to the fight against this pandemic. We will also look forward to a full restoration of our community, business and cultural activities in the year ahead.
“We are incredibly fortunate that St Patrick’s Day enjoys a unique level of awareness and interest worldwide. In line with the Government’s Global Ireland Strategy, these virtual St Patrick’s Day celebrations will sustain this unique opportunity to promote our country abroad despite the restrictions imposed by the pandemic.”
As Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening is celebrating its twelfth year in 2021, Minister Coveney added: “I also look forward to continuing the greening of many landmarks around the world in celebration of St Patrick’s Day, as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative, including such iconic symbols as the Victoria and Niagara Falls, the London Eye, Leaning Tower of Pisa and Sydney Opera House.”
In the United States, Ireland’s ambassador, Daniel Mulhall is hosting a St Patrick’s Day celebration of Irish America, which he will preside over on the evening of March 17 alongside Ireland’s Consuls General in Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco.
Titled ‘‘Shades of Green,” the program will feature performers from across America and Ireland, as well as more than a dozen exceptional Irish Americans who will reflect on the community’s history and traditions as well as the resilience shown in response to COVID-19.
“Alongside a special St Patrick’s Day message from Taoiseach Micheál Martin, the evening will include a poetic tribute to President Biden and a commemoration of those our community has lost over the past year,” said a release.
Amongst the artists contributing to the celebration are Rosanne Cash, Eimear Noone, We Banjo 3, Kíla, Aoife O’Donovan, Jerron ‘‘Blind Boy’’ Paxton, Nora Brown with Megan Downes, Morgan Bullock, Gregory Harrington, Danielle Enblom, Aedin Moloney, Patrick Dexter and the Arturo O’Farrill Quartet.
Announcing the event, Ambassador Mulhall said: ‘‘Nowhere in the world celebrates St Patrick’s Day like America. This year, because of COVID, there may be no large parades down Fifth Avenue or green rivers through Chicago. But while we can’t gather in person, we can come together as a community. We’ve arranged this program on 17 March to celebrate Irish America in all its many vibrant shades. And we want to invite the widest possible audience to join us for the occasion.’’
Shades of Green has been developed in partnership with a range of Irish community organizations, including the Association of Irish & Celtic Festival; Irish Arts Center in New York; Irish Network USA; the Network of Irish Cultural Centers of North America; and the New York Irish Center, as well as Culture Ireland and Tourism Ireland. Shades of Green is produced and directed by Jeremy Handelman, Off the Leash Productions.
The program will be broadcast on www.ireland.ie/usa from 7.30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Wednesday, March 17. The webpage will go live a few days before the event. To register and for further information, sign up via Eventbrite. Questions may be directed to [email protected]