Davenport Dining Hall was active with hungry students and faculty with bluegrass Celtic music playing March 10 at the St. Patty’s Day Celebration put on by the Campus Activities Board.
The afternoon opened with Sligo Rags, the event’s band, warming up to give the guests a taste of the performance to come.
“At last year’s celebration, the band was a hit, so we decided to bring them back,” Angie Anderson, CAB adviser, said.
“Our music has a Celtic feel with a touch of bluegrass,” David Burns, guitarist and vocalist of Sligo Rags, said. “It’s funny. None of us are actually Irish, except for the percussionist.”
Sligo Rags has been playing together for eight years and include members Burns, Michael Kelly, Gordon Rustvolld and Andy Reilly.
The Davenport cooks prepared food to replicate Irish cuisine.
Among the favorites were bangers and mash, an Irish sausage served with potatoes and gravy, and Guinness braised lamb shanks, lamb pieces in a stew of various vegetables.
They also prepared two Irish soups, chowder sweet Molly Malone, a soup with mussels; and steel cut Irish barley and mushroom, a soup consisting of numerous vegetables and spices.
“I tried a lot of the food. The lamb and the potatoes were really good,” Mike Nunez, director of campus safety, said. “I like that the campus puts on celebrations like these. It celebrates culture and diversity.”
CAB put on this occasion because St. Patrick’s Day was during Spring Break and the holiday is always a favorite among college students.
St. Patrick’s Day usually consists of wearing green, pinching those who do not and is one of the leading days for consumption of alcohol in the United States.
However, since this particular celebration was held one week early, the lack of green attire was not something to be worried about.
“I didn’t know this was going to happen, but the food is a nice change,” Travis Jones, junior movement and sports science major, said. “I really enjoy St. Patrick’s Day and the festivities involved.”
At noon, Sligo Rags stopped playing music and asked everyone to look under their chair for a green shamrock.
Whoever had the clover won two tickets to Knott’s Berry Farm.
Lucy Chen, freshman political science major, looked under her chair and did not see the shamrock until senior CAB member Naime Laskar asked her to look again.
“I was so shocked. I’m half-awake, and my roommate just woke me up to eat lunch,” Chen said. “I’ll probably use the tickets during spring break.”
Overall, students and faculty enjoyed dipping their toes into Irish culture, learning about special traditions and being able to celebrate without getting pinched.
Kristen Campbell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.