Thursday, March 13, 2014

St Patrick's Day on the Slopes

Guinness tasting at Big White

It’s funny how St Patrick’s Day is celebrated so fervently in ski resorts around North America - much more emphasis than in the UK. Ireland, of course, does a great job of gunning the Guinness and recounting Leprechaun lore. But Brits usually let this “holiday” pass them by – that is until they encounter St Paddy’s festivities in the mountains. Then they're donning the green and downing the grog like everyone else – any excuse for a party!

So, here are a few green-themed celebrations coming to the slopes this weekend:

Bud Light Sham Rock festival at Mt Snow, Vermont

Mt Snow, Vermont has a whole Bud Light Sham Rock weekend planned as well as $17 lift tickets on Monday. Events include green eggs and kegs, live music and beer gardens and a treasure hunt on the hill called the Pot 'O Gold with a season pass for next year as the prize.

Irish Dancing at Beaver Creek - photo courtesy of
Beaver Creek Resort Company

Beaver Creek, Colorado is famous for its daily 3 pm cookie event for which over 500,000 cookies are baked each year. For St Paddy's Day, there's a themed "Cookie Time"with special Green Shamrock Sugar Cookies made freshly that day as well as the regular Chocolate Chip confections - and they are free! There'll also be Irish dancing in the village as well as green drink specials in bars and restaurants.

St Paddy's fireworks at Copper Mountain

Copper Mountain, Colorado hosts a jam style contest on Sat March 15 dubbed Go Huck Yourself. Using Woodward's 22 ft quarter pipe, the action starts at noon with skiers and riders competing for free gear from Analog and Woodward. Later on there's a Celtic music event, a themed firework display and free moonlight snowshoe tours. Everyone is encouraged to wear green!

Blarney Stone breakfast

Big White, BC, Canada does everything big, including St Patrick's Day. They have a head start with an Irish Bar, owned by an Irishman from Strabane, Northern Ireland. The Blarney Stone Irish Tavern serves all day Irish breakfast, traditional Irish stew, Steak 'n Guinness Pie, Black Pudding, Shamrock decorated lattes and beer and whiskey cocktails. There are three Guinness bars with servers dressed in traditional costume. And there are prize draw tickets for every Guinness sold.

Blarney Stone Tavern, Big White

From noon to midnight five different acts will entertain the apres skiers with Celtic cants and there will be a live DJ and BBQ on the patio unless it is plummeting down with snow. Traditional Irish dancing starts at 6 pm and there is also an Irish Bodhran Drum Workshop for kids and adults from 7 pm. Other events include a Pot of Gold treasure hunt, complimentary house-made Guinness ice cream and shamrock tattoos provided by Leprechauns. During the day on March 17, a skiing Leprechaun will be handing out candy and taking photos as well as getting a few runs in.
Blarney Stone TavernBig White 

Panorama, BC, Canada is hosting The Running of the Leprechauns, a St Patrick's Day Pub Crawl encompassing eight different venues around town. This includes games, prizes, Irish stew for lunch, photos and priority entry to the Jackpine Pub. There will be themed drinks and prizes for the most eye-catching costumes.

You get two chances at St Paddy's day at Whistler Blackcomb, BC, Canada. March 10 there's a Saint Practice Day warm-up event followed by March 17 festivities which include live music at the Dubh Linn Gate Irish Pub all day and night.

Dubh Linn Gate Pub - photo courtesy of
Tourism Whistler/ Robin O'Neill

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