You really have to wonder what St. Patrick would think of St. Patrick’s Day in Ontario. The celebrations for the patron saint of Ireland have ranged from a full out riot at a college in London, Ontario to parades and a Celtic party hosted for 20,000 people in Ottawa. If you think Ontario knows how to celebrate, try Newfoundland and Labrador. It’s a public holiday there.
St. Patrick’s Day has only really been the party day Canadians know and love since the early 1990’s. That’s when the government of the Republic of Ireland kicked off a campaign to showcase Ireland and it’s culture, and it clearly paid off, because if you go out on St. Patrick’s Day in Ontario you’ll see a sea of green, flowing green beer, and maybe even a leprechaun or two.
Everyone becomes Irish for the day on St. Patrick’s Day, but there’s one major problem with a day dedicated to tinted beverages and huge parties: drinking and driving. It’s one of the deadliest days of the year for alcohol-related fatalities, and although people will go out in high spirits, if they get behind the wheel after drinking they may never come home again.
That’s why it pays to be prepared before you go out for St. Patrick’s Day, and being prepared doesn’t mean putting on your favourite green t-shirt and your leprechaun hat: it means finding a safe ride home before you go out.
- Uber: Ontario has Uber, a car-sharing service that will pick you up from anywhere and take you home safely. Just be prepared for Uber rates on St.Patrick’s Day in Ontario, because they may go up if there is a high demand.
- Sober friend: If you have a friend who isn’t into green beer or Irish whiskey, ask them to be your sober driver. Just remember that a sober driver doesn’t even have one drink before driving.
- Cabs: Do yourself a favour and contact a cab company well before St.Patrick’s Day to make a reservation. You may even be able to reserve a large cab to hold several friends.
Have fun and stay safe, and may the luck of the Irish be with you this St. Patrick’s Day.