irish fare

Happy Monday, everyone!

As you are well aware, yesterday was the Irish holiday of St. Patrick’s Day…  I have historically celebrated this holiday to its fullest, and the ridiculousness of my costumes have also been at a high level. (You do know how Irish my best friend is, right?  Her name literally means Ireland…and she has an O’ in there.)  So the holiday has some historical nostalgia for me.

However, the only “celebration” I could find this year that we could attend was the “Groene Markt” (or green market) – A festival thrown by the local Irish Club.  In an article that I read online, this was labelled as the “largest St. Patrick’s celebration in The Netherlands.”  When you see the photos below, you will release that must mean there isn’t a whole lot of celebrating going on here. 🙂

We arrived (with low expectations) and found the small square to be somewhat decorated and have a decent crowd.  Luckily, we were able to find some Irish fare – Potato Soup & Irish Stew.  Of course, there happen to be a Guinness stand as well.  So we sat down to take in the sights…as a very old Irish band sang what seemed to be lullabies because they were putting us to sleep.  Next up for entertainment, a group of Irish dancers of various age groups.  This was a little more lively, and they attracted a little more of a crowd.

An overview. This was the crowd as we were leaving.

An overview. This was the crowd as we were leaving.

Potato soup & Guinness

Potato soup & Guinness.  Note my significant amount of green – although far less festive than years past.

Irish stew & fries.

Irish stew & fries.  Note his minimal amount of green.

Dancers.

Dancers.

We knew there was a little Irish pub on the way back to our apartment, so we decided maybe we would scope that out instead.  When we arrived (around 2:00 on Sunday) the crowd wasn’t too large, but there was a little band (including the lead who had a heavy Irish accent) playing much more lively music.  This was a little more along the lines of what I was looking for – so we stayed for a short bit and took in the festivities.  They even had a parade from Ireland on the TV, which I found very entertaining.  And randomly, who do we see, but the “Cedar Rapids High School Marching Band” from “Iowa, USA” in the parade!?  Seriously – thought that was crazy.

Magners & Guinness.

Magners & Guinness.

That's more like it!

That’s more like it!

Anyway, it was interesting to see the difference in celebrations here.  At work, BC’s coworkers were surprised that we had any intentions of doing something for the holiday, as we are not Irish.  As you may know – I don’t need a reason to get wrapped up in a holiday! 🙂

Hope all is well for everyone back home.  Interesting note – we have not “Sprung Forward” here yet, so you can deduct an hour from our time difference until Easter weekend!

Happy Birthday shout outs this past weekend to BJ and to my devote reader LLC!  Hope you had great birthdays.

Until next time,
-MK-

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