The world wide phenomenon that is St. Patrick’s Day was celebrated around the globe again this year with parades, fireworks and green floodlighting.
An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar visited the White House and Capitol Hill before marching in the New York parade down Fifth Avenue.
Media in more than 100 countries reported on Ireland’s National Holiday, generating mostly positive coverage, which would have taken more than €100m to buy.
In London the Irish combined celebrating St.Patrick’s Day with winning a rugby Grand Slam while at home thousands of visitors joined local populations in parades, ceilithe, sports and cultural events.
Tourism Ireland’s unique Global Greening initiative featured around 300 iconic landmarks and sites in 50 different countries . The initiative began in 2010 in Sydney and Auckland and has gone from strength to strength each year since then.
From world famous sites such as the London Eye, Niagara Falls and the Colosseum, to some of the more unusual newcomers for 2018 – including a lion statue in Kenya made entirely from re-cycled flip flops, a giant Blue Whale skeleton in the Natural History Museum in London and a Game of Thrones-themed ice hotel in Lapland – sites big and small around the world are turning a shade of green to celebrate our national day.
Numerous locations across Great Britain went green to. A new ‘Greening’ for 2018 is ‘Hope’ – the Blue Whale skeleton suspended from the ceiling at the Natural History Museum. Discovered in Wexford in 1891, the 4.5-tonne mega skeleton now takes centre stage at the museum.
Other new sites taking part this year include the Luxur Obélisque at the centre of the Place de la Concorde in Paris, the San Mamés stadium in Bilbao, the UN headquarters in New York, the Palestinian Museum in Ramallah (designed by Dublin architects Heneghan Peng), the Busan Cinema Center in South Korea (the official venue of the Busan International Film Festival, Asia’s largest film festival) and the new Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge in New York.
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “This is the ninth year of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative and it’s bigger and better than ever this year, with some wonderful new additions like the UN headquarters in New York, the Luxur Obélisque in Paris, the Irish Embassy in Rome, a lion statue made entirely from flip flops in Kenya, The Venetian hotel in Las Vegas and the new Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge in New York.
“St Patrick’s Day traditionally marks the real start of the tourism season for us; our aim is to bring a smile to the faces of people around the world and to convey the message that Ireland offers the warmest of welcomes and great fun, as well as wonderful scenery and heritage. Our St Patrick’s programme spans Great Britain, Mainland Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand, as well as emerging tourism markets like China, Brazil and the Middle East. We are using every opportunity to capitalise on Ireland’s heightened profile this week; the saturation coverage about Ireland across the global airwaves, in newspapers and digital media, is an invaluable boost for our overall 2018 tourism promotional drive.”