I guess the odds were about 365:1 that I would be born on St Patrick's Day. I won.
I was never a big celebrater of my birthday until I moved back to the USA and Houston. That's when I began spending 5-10 hours per day drinking at Griff's (click to see the website). I had been there many times before, but was not a "regular" until then, in 1994. Griff's is well-known in these parts, good buddy, as the place to go to party in mid-March. They throw a grand party which lasts about one week. It's only a small, neighborhood Irish pub. Indoor seating capacity is about 45. But during the week leading up to Paddy's Day, 6000-10000 would-be Irish celebrationists will walk through the doors. A huge tent goes up in the parking lot and part of the street in front is blocked off. Three sound stages are erected for a dozen bands to play on. There's a Festival Queen Contest with celebrity judges and a big Golf Tournament with hundreds of drinking golfers. Food, beer tubs, outdoor temporary full-bars and porta-toilets are everywhere. Tickets are sold. Radio stations advertise.
In 1999, I became a part-owner of Griff's. In 2003, I got sober. I worked my first sober birthday at The Festival and had no problem not drinking. But I hated being around all those drunks for 15 hours each day. I don't go any longer. In fact, I have not been inside since June 2004 and I live only a block from the bar.
The party begins later this week. I'll be wearing my green. And this year I will be very content to just hear the chaos - from a block away.