As for celebration, that was about it until 1903, when St. Patrick’s Day became an official public holiday in Ireland.
St. Patrick’s Day with the customs we now know, such as you must wear green or be pinched, parades, green beer, corned beef and cabbage, and all the fun customs that go on, was basically invented in America by Irish-Americans in the 18th century.
The Divine Diners, a group of members of Kingston Episcopal Parish in Mathews, are incorporating all of the customs in a St. Patrick’s Day Dinner and Dance on Monday at the Parish House on Main Street.
Chairman Vicki Carter said, “The Divine Diners are members of our church who get together about four times a year at various homes as a social fellowship gathering. It’s been very popular. So we thought this was a good time to expand it where we can seat 120 and still have limited dancing space with musicians.”
Others working on the committee are Sally Bridgforth, Bernie LaCasse, Suzy Jones, Lynn May, Mary Newell and Mairi Furniss. Some will be cooking and serving an Irish dinner of corned beef and cabbage, shepherd’s pie, soda bread, chocolate mint brownies and Irish coffee. This wonderful menu will be preceded by a happy hour at 6 p.m. of hors d’oeuvres and ales. Others will be handling publicity, ticket sales, decorations and all the other necessities to make this first affair a big success. Committee members agreed that they would like to make this an annual event.