March 17 — St. Patrick’s Day — is an important day on the calendar for Winnipeggers of Irish descent, but you don’t have to be Irish to join in the fun.
“I think everybody likes to come in and enjoy it and become Irish for the day — or sometimes they stay longer,” Irish Association of Manitoba president Gerald Martin told The Start on 680 CJOB.
“The music and everything just brings you to that spirit.”
Celebrations began Friday at the association’s Erin Street club, and continue through the weekend with dancing, a parade, and other cultural celebrations.
While the day is synonymous with celebration, Martin said it means a lot more to him than just the festivities.
“Irish culture is resilient. There’s a lot of history to it and a lot of people that follow it and want to be part of it,” he said.
“It goes back a long time, and we’re very proud of it. We want to see the culture stay in Canada and keep on growing.”
Martin said the association hopes the celebrations will attract new members.
“You don’t have to be Irish. We have plays and stuff going on in the future, and we’re open Fridays and Saturdays, hoping that we’ll get in everybody that we can.
“Come on down and ‘be’ Irish.”