St. Paddy’s Day by the numbers

written by: Glen Warchol

Utah would seem to be a particularly forbidding land for St. Paddy’s Day. St. Pat, after all, was a Roman Catholic, revered by less-than-saintly Catholic folk with the tools at hand—green beer, Irish whiskey and tacky plastic derbies.

Mostly Mormon, Utah culture is opposed to alcohol.

Still, it’s a Utah truism that if you are not of THE culture, you cling even tighter to your own. Nowhere are Greeks more Ionic, Jews more Jewishy, Goths darker or nihilists more carefree. Consequently, Salt Lake City’s annual St. Patrick’s Parade may be small, but it is enthusiastically brilliant.

5,500: spectators at SLC’s 2016 St. Pat’s Parade

23: Irish whiskeys purportedly available through Utah DABC. (Of course, on St. Paddy’s Day any whiskey, even vodka, is Irish!)

100: groups, floats, cement mixers, pandering politicians and dogs in the parade.

4 drops: Amount of food coloring needed to green up a pint. A couple more drops, and—voila! You have green teeth, too.

st-patrick-day-beer4 wobbly Irishmen led by Francis Welch 1 bar + innumerable green beers 15 innocent bystanders + 2 bemused SLC cops SLC’s first St. Patrick Day parade in 1977

Glen Warchol
Glen Warchol
The late, great Glen Warchol passed away in 2018. His last billet was on the editorial staff here at Salt Lake magazine but his storied career included stops at The Salt Lake Tribune, The Desert News, The New Times and others. His stories haunt this website like ghosts in a machine and we're always happy to see them. RIP Papa Warchol.

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