From an opera house in the middle of the Amazon rain-forest to a public transport system in Ethiopia, many of the world’s most famous sites will be seen through an Irish green glaze this St. Patrick’s Day with thanks to Tourism Ireland’s seventh annual Global Greening initiative.
Irish Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe T.D., and Tourism Ireland yesterday announced the 52-story Building 7 at the World Trade Center and Boston’s Fenway Park will be basking themselves in green light as part of 2016’s worldwide Paddy’s Day event, joining old favorites such as the Empire State Building, the Colosseum in Rome, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Sacré-Cœur in Paris, the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro and Nelson’s Column in London's Trafalgar Square.
Other new “greenings” this year include the famous Big Wheel on Place de la Concorde in Paris, Mole Antonelliana in Turin (the architectural symbol of the city), the light rail system in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia (the first light rail system in sub-Saharan Africa), and City Hall in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Going one step further, the Boston Red Sox will not only be lighting up their home at Fenway Park but will wear green jerseys on March 17 for their spring training game in Florida.
With a record year for Irish tourism in 2015, Tourism Ireland launched the Global Greening for the seventh year running as part of their $24.2 million (€21.5 million) first half promotional drive to bring in more overseas tourists in 2016.
Starting off with only a few sites in 2010 when Ireland was mid-financial crisis and in need of a unique way of promoting the country overseas, the “greening” project has been majorly successful with new stadiums, statues, palaces and towers joining the celebration each year.
This year will be the first time Japan lights up with Torii (entrance gate) of the Ise Grand Shrine, Ise, Mie Prefecture, and Karakoro Art Studio, Matsue, joining the ever-increasing list.
Brazil will also see five new sites illuminated in green including the Amazon Theater, an opera house in the middle of the Amazon rain-forest.
Speaking at the launch, Minister Donohoe welcomed the opportunity to further promote Ireland as a holiday destination overseas at a time when thoughts turn to summer vacation.
“The Global Greening initiative is an excellent way to position Ireland in people’s minds and to get them thinking about paying us a visit,” he said.
“People everywhere – even those with no obvious connection to Ireland – demonstrate a strong affinity with St Patrick’s Day, with parades and celebrations taking place in countries right across the world.”
The Global Greening Project and other overseas St. Patrick’s Day promotional programs are expected to generate in excess of $11.2 million (€10 million) in positive publicity for Ireland by the end of March each year.
“Spanning Great Britain, Mainland Europe, North America and Australia, as well as developing markets such as China, India and South Africa, the Global Greening is seen from Nelson’s Pillar in London to the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, with new sites being added each year,” Minister Donohoe continued.
“I want to congratulate Tourism Ireland for their excellent work in securing such an impressive and widespread list of landmarks going green and I look forward to seeing the new additions lighting up for the first time next month.”
CEO of Tourism Ireland, Niall Gibbons, attributed the massive success of the Global Greening project to the efforts of the global Irish diaspora and the strong positive links they have maintained with their home country.
“The success of our Global Greening initiative is due in no small part to the great work that has been carried out across the world by Irish people down the generations and, in particular, to the great support we’ve received from the Irish embassy network and the diaspora,” he said.
“The eagerness of cities and countries everywhere to take part underlines the strength of the deep connection that people all over the world feel to Ireland. More than 70 million people around the world claim links to the island of Ireland and St Patrick’s Day is a truly unique opportunity to reconnect them with their heritage.”
The US will see five new greenings in total this year, accompanied by firm favorites such as the “Welcome” sign in Las Vegas. The new US “greenings” are 7 World Trade Center in New York; Boston Red Sox (baseball team); Fenway Park (home of the Boston Red Sox); Reunion Tower, Dallas, Texas, and Bridgestone Arena, Nashville.
Turbo the Goat will also be lit up for the first time in Toronto, Canada.
Have you ever witnessed one of the “Global Greenings” on St. Patrick’s Day? Have a cool photo of the event? Send your stories and images to [email protected]