1. St. Patrick’s Day is an event celebrated worldwide.
You can find expats all over the globe crowding to Irish pubs and restaurants. Colleges and universities in most countries make St. Patrick’s day an excuse for excessive drinking and generalized debauchery, but there is only one place outside of Ireland which officially recognizes St. Patrick’s day as a legal holiday, and that place is Newfoundland.
No spot outside of Ireland takes St. Patrick’s Day as seriously as Newfoundland – well … maybe Boston (they’re pretty hardcore as well).
2. Closer to Ireland
If you’re in North America and want to get close to Ireland, the closest spot is in Newfoundland. St. John’s Harbour is the closest North American port to Ireland and Cape Spear is the closest point of land, which is just a short drive from St. John’s Harbour.
Newfoundland folklore legends have many stories of sailors getting lost at sea only to be washed up on the shamrock covered shores of Ireland.
Newfoundland Folklore Legend “Almost two centuries ago, there were two brothers fishing off the shores of St. John’s when the fog rolled in and their ship was subsequently lost. About a week later, the brothers found themselves off the west coast of Ireland where they were welcomed by a small fishing community. Because it was the fall of the year, the brothers spent the winter in Ireland repairing their boat with the help of the Irish locals. The following spring, with their boat was all fixed up, the brothers set sail for Newfoundland determined to reunite with the families they had left behind. When they arrived back in St. John’s, nobody would believe it was them since it was assumed the two brothers had perished at sea. Their family in St. John’s had even held a funeral for them and erected gravestones at the Quidi Vidi cemetery.
What a coming home party they must have had when the two brothers returned to their friends and families”.
3. In Newfoundland, St. Patrick’s Day is a family event and not just about drinking.
Most people are wearing green, restaurants have special menus, and St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are everywhere. In Newfoundland, St. Patrick’s Day is bigger than the Easter Bunny and more popular than Black Friday,
4. Talk the Talk
Often times when people from Newfoundland travel internationally they’re mistaken for being Irish because of the way they speak. Since many parts of Newfoundland were originally settled by people from Ireland, many residents in Newfoundland are direct descendants of Irish immigrants, retaining much of the same dialect and accent.
Many consider Newfoundland to be the most Irish place in the world next to Ireland.
5. The 2nd Emerald Isle
In Newfoundland, nothing escapes St. Patrick’s Day decorations. The Capital City of St. John’s is covered in Irish green and national historic sites get a special St. Patrick’s day makeover.
Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day is about much more than drinking, but if you want to go out for a few sociable beverages on St. Patrick’s Day, there is no better place in North America to do so than in St. John’s. George Street alone has a large collection or Irish Pubs and all of Downtown St. John’s is in on the action complete with St. Patrick’s Day live bands, Irish food, green beer, and more.
PRO TIP: If you’re planning on drinking in Downtown St. John’s during St. Patrick’s Day evening, be sure to take your time and pace yourself. Green beer is everywhere, but if the novelty of green been has worn off, try sipping on a lower alcohol beer like Quidi Vidi Iceberg or even substitute a few glasses of water for beers in the middle of your evening. The rule “less is more” can be applied to many situations and St. Patrick’s Day is no exception,.
7. Be the first
Because of their time zone, Newfoundland is the first spot in North America to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, just a few hours after it’s officially St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland. Every year, St. John’s is the first capital city in North America to officially kick off St. Patrick’s Day.
One of the best spring skiing weekends in Newfoundland takes place on St. Patrick’s Day weekend at Marble Mountain near Corner Brook. Spring skiing in Western Newfoundland is always superb, but spring skiing at Marble Mountain on St. Patrick’s Day weekend is special. There is always a great vibe at the ski hill, the conditions are usually great, and the lodge often has Irish bands along with beer and food at the ski lodge as an apres ski event.
9. Sheila’s Brush.
According to the legend, Sheila’s Brush is the last big winter storm that takes place on or around St. Patrick’s Day. You can chalk it up to folklore or farmers almanac alchemy, but every year without failure mother nature brings Newfoundland one last big winter storm in or around St. Patrick’s Day. What’s great about Sheila’s Brush (besides being a great snow day) is that after this storm, the weather turns to spring. In Newfoundland, St. Patrick’s day signifies the end of winter and the beginning of spring.
10. Go Green
Besides Irish green, Newfoundland, and Canada as a whole, has recently become famous for another green. Recreational cannabis became legal across Canada in October 2018, and Newfoundland became the first place in Canada to legally sell a joint of Canadian cannabis. This 2019 St. Patrick’s Day is the first St. Patrick’s Day since Canada legalized recreational marijuana, so if you’re looking to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the other kind of green, you can do so legally for the very first time right here in Newfoundland.