Greenest Event of the Year

Read about this year’s St. Patricks day celebration at Kungsträgården!

Once a year The Swedish-Irish Society puts together a vibrant celebration of St Patrick’s Day by hosting a parade. On the 18th of March, a day after the actual holiday, hundreds of people showed up to Kungsträgården despite the rainy weather, to take part in the festivities, which included; food, drinks, games, dancing, musical performances, and of course the parade.  

Along with the Swedish-Irish Society, lots of SIS students were there as volunteers working from eleven in the morning to as late as five in the afternoon, helping in various areas. A majority of the student volunteers could be found in the children’s tent. An area full of fun activities for the children to take part in, such as; arts and crafts, balloons, face painting, ‘fiskdamm’, and games. Other volunteers helped in the merchandise booth where different St Patrick’s Day-themed items were being sold. All the proceeds of said sales went to humanitarian efforts in Syria and Turkey. 

All sorts of different Irish foods and beverages were available on the day. Starting off with  Wirströms Pub, responsible for catering the event, there were a variety of meal options ranging from a classic hamburger to a warm beef stew, perfect for a cold rainy day. There was more to warm one’s hands than just food, with a hot coffee from Muttley and Jack’s roasters. Now, this wasn’t just any coffee, but a special virgin Irish Coffee created by the founders specifically for this event. The process was time-consuming, the beans were soaked and stirred in Whiskey for thirty days, after which they were roasted. Any alcohol is burned from the beans in the process yet also leaving the classic taste of Irish Whiskey. To complement the coffee there were delicious cookies from Sponge Cookies, located in Gamla Stan. A special shout-out goes out to Törst beverages, an organic soft drink producer who was kind enough to offer all of us volunteers a free soda. Most of the companies were first-time contributors to the parade and described it as a super fun experience … where everyone is having fun. 

It’s good crack! (Irish phrase)

— Irish Ambassador, Austin Gormley

When it came to the performers, there were seven different acts. It began with musical presentations by Irish band Anois, Irish violinist Aingeala de Burca, and Swedish singer/songwriter Maja Kristina who performed a beautiful rendition of ‘The Parting Glass’. An Irish family band called North Clan and finishing off with a classic river dance performance by Saoirse Irish Dance Company. The collection of performances was a beautiful celebration of Irish folk music and dance. 

When interviewing the Irish Ambassador, Austin Gormley, he gave us a great description of the event and its significance. There was a great crowd despite the weather showing the resilience of the Irish. “It’s a great sense of community and pride in their Irish culture, language, and music.” Among the crowd there were a lot of Swedish people, “they really appreciate Irish Riverdance and Irish folk music… it’s amazing to see everyone come together”. 

The day ended with the parade of course, and despite the weather, hundreds gathered to explore and celebrate this rich culture and heritage. If you were unable to attend this year, mark it in your calendar for next year. It is more than worth a couple of hours on a Saturday.