After two successful years, Sober St. Patrick’s Day® has established itself as the premier family friendly option for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, the greenest day on the world calendar. Featuring world-class Irish entertainment, refreshments and the chance to mingle in a fun and alcohol-free atmosphere, Sober St. Patrick’s Day® has expanded to four American cities – New York City, Cleveland, OH, Richmond, VA and Casper, WY – as well as to Belfast in Northern Ireland.
Over the years, St. Patrick’s Day has become associated with binge drinking and public intoxication, which reinforces the stereotype of the “Drunken Irish.” This negative image alienates large segments of the community: families with young children, teens, senior citizens, members of the recovery community and many others who have stopped celebrating the day due to concerns about out-of-control behavior.
Sober St. Patrick’s Day® was created as a fresh alternative for those who want to celebrate the holiday in an alcohol-free atmosphere. The event, which is in its third, record-breaking year, was launched by award-winning TV producer William Spencer Reilly, and features an entertainment lineup that includes world-class Irish musicians, dancers and comedians.
“Our mission is to reclaim the true spirit of the day, and to change the perception of what St. Patrick’s Day can be,” said Reilly. “We’re doing this by providing an event that focuses on the richness of Irish culture, in a rip-roaring party. For anyone not in recovery, we’re not against anyone enjoying a couple of drinks on St. Patrick’s Day; we're just against the practice of some people using the holiday as an excuse to get drunk.”
This year’s diverse lineup features great new entertainment, including internationally-acclaimed musicians and dancers. New to the party this year, direct from Ireland, are the UCD Choral Scholars (Dublin) and the Tulla Pipe Band (Co. Clare). There will be a chance to sing along to all the old favorites – and perhaps learn some new Irish songs – with Cathy Maguire (Dundalk).
There will be lots more dancing this year to the new Sober St. Patrick’s Day® All-star Céilí Band: John Whelan (eight-time All Ireland Champion Button Accordion player); Brian Conway (five-time All Ireland Champion fiddle player), Brendan Dolan, Brendan Fahey and Ivan Goff.
The new Chidren’s Program, which will be held downstairs, will feature Marianne McShane (seanachie (storyteller), Haley Richardson (11 year-old All-Ireland Fiddle Champion), The Fee Sisters (musicians & dancers) and Donie Carroll (singer).
Guests will be treated to a performance by the phenomenal step dancers from the Donny Golden School of Irish Dance. Perennial favorite Malachy McCourt (author, actor and raconteur) will share his unique perspective on all things Irish, and as always, there will be visits from surprise celebrity guests, political leaders and prominent community figures.
Mr. Reilly states, “We’ve also been invited to march in the St. Pat’s For All Parade in Queens. I think it’s fair to say that Sober St. Patrick’s Day® is here to stay. Besides expanding to five cities, what I’m most excited about is the new Children’s Program downstairs, which we’ve added this year to our great lineup in New York. Changing the perception of what St. Patrick’s Day celebrations can mean for young people is central to our mission.”
Sober St. Patrick’s Day® will launch its second international satellite event this year. The Belfast City Council will again be incorporating Sober St. Patrick’s Day® into their St. Patrick’s Day Festival this year.
“Seabrook House would not miss the opportunity to sponsor New York’s “Sober St. Patrick’s Day," said Ed Diehl, President, Seabrook House.
“Our treatment organization is a proud founding sponsor of this event, believing it the responsibility of those with long term recovery to provide the proof that holidays can be more fun sober than they ever were drunk. Our alumni in the region mark their calendars early for this wonderful celebration.”
In addition to Seabrook House, the “big three” in the American recovery movement – the Caron Treatment Centers, Hazelden, and the Betty Ford Center are sponsoring Sober St. Patrick’s Day® for the third year in a row, as is Father Martin’s Ashley and the National Association for Children of Alcoholics which is also serving as Sober St. Patrick’s Day®’s fiscal agent.
AT A GLANCE
THIRD ANNUAL Sober St. Patrick’s Day®
Monday, March 17, 2014
from 4 to 7:30 p.m. (Parade day in Manhattan)
Cathedral High School
(350 East 56th Street, NYC)
NYC Party General Admission: $20
Seniors (62+) / Students (U 21): $15
Children (U 10): $10
Snacks & soft drinks will be served
For information and tickets visit
Eileen Murphy, Media Director
(917) 727-2208 (press only)
Sponsors for Sober St. Patrick’s Day® (still in formation) include: William C. Dowling Jr. Foundation, PepsiCo, The O’Sullivan Children Foundation, Seabrook House, Caron Treatment Centers, The American Ireland Fund, Hazelden, Betty Ford Center, PRMA, National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACoA), Father Martin’s Ashley, New York Irish Center, and individual donors Ruth Riddick and Sis Wenger.