Sober

Sober Saint Patrick's Day Marks Ten Years

Hopefully the 2022 Sober St. Patrick's Day celebration will be comparable to this gathering, but for this year the celebration is virtual.

By Irish Echo Staff

Sober St. Patrick's Day in marking ten years on the go this year.

And while "reclaiming the true spirit of St. Patrick's Day," will not be possible in the normal sense due to the pandemic, SSPD - which declares its intention is to "change the perception and experience from an occasion for binge drinking and misuse of alcohol" and instead present "a celebration of the richness of Irish culture and the legacy of St. Patrick" - is getting ready to celebrate virtually.

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The 10th anniversary virtual celebration will begin 4 p.m. on March 17 in New York. It will be free as well as virtual and no one will be turned away, said organizers in a release.

"In 2017 I was working with the Irish Arts Center which had launched its #GetLit campaign in support of gifting books across New York City on St. Patrick's Day. That evening I attended my first Sober St. Patrick's Day," said Tami Ellen McLaughlin, SSPD's Executive Director.

"My St. Patrick's Day that year was based on bookend events organized by folks committed to creating a positive image of Ireland, and in a safe and healthy environment on St. Patrick's Day. I was hooked."

"Many folks around the world will be looking for alternative ways to celebrate, and since they won't be able to be out and about, we're merging all of our other cities' parties this year into one star-studded celebration via this YouTube Premiere," said William Spencer Reilly, founder and chairman of Sober St. Patrick's Day.

The SSPD 10th anniversary event will be co-hosted by Samantha Kelly, @TweetingGoddess.

According to the organizers, world class entertainment will be provided by John Whelan, the 7-Time "All Ireland Champion" Button Accordion, Producer; Brian Conway, the 5-Time "All Ireland Champion" Fiddle, 2006 Mid-Atlantic CCE Hall of Fame; Arjun Ramachandran, 12-year-old phenom Irish fiddle player and dancer; Donie Carroll, Singer, Guitarist; Mary Courtney, Recording Artist; Dylan Foley, 4-Time "All Ireland Champion" Fiddle Champion; Brendan Dolan, Musician 2016 Mid-Atlantic CCE Hall of Fame; Jeffrey O'Sullivan, America's Premier Uilleann Piper; Liz Simmons and Flynn Cohen, Guitarists, Mandolin, Vocals, and the Donny Golden School of Irish Dance, Award winning Irish Dancers.

Sober St. Patrick's Day was created by William Spencer Reilly, an award-winning theater and television producer who almost lost a member of his family to addiction in 2004. He first proposed the idea to leaders in the recovery and Irish American communities, a pitch that led a year later to the 2012 inaugural party. RSVPs to https://www.soberstpatricksday.org/