PHOTOS - Landmarks go green for St. Patrick's Day

Landmarks go green for St. Patrick's Day

The Irish Government and Tourism Ireland have unveiled a $25 million plan aimed at promoting Ireland overseas during the St Patrick's Day celebrations.

The plan is designed includes targeted campaigns around the world to coincide with St Patrick's Day. This year the ancient Rock of Petra in Jordan and three major ski slopes in Norway, Canada, and Austria will be among the global landmarks turning green for the day.

Tourism chiefs have revealed the landmarks, added to the already long list, of special world famous locations that will turn green on March 17.

Sleeping Beauty's Castle at Disneyland Paris will go green for the first time as well as nearly 70 other landmarks and iconic sites including: the Pyramids in Egypt, the Empire State Building and the Sydney Opera House.

Speaking on RTÉ's "Morning Ireland," Minister for Tourism Leo Varadkar said this year will be the fourth that Ireland will be "greening" monuments and buildings around the world.

It is something that is very successful and gets Ireland a huge amount of publicity, he said. He added that he thinks it brings a smile to people's faces at a very minimal cost.

Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Eamon Gilmore said:

“From the iconic site of Petra in Jordan, to Niagara Falls and Table Mountain, St Patrick’s Day will be celebrated by Ireland’s friends all over the world.

"Tourism Ireland and our embassy network deserve great credit on making the Global Greening initiative such a success. Each and every Greening is an expression of friendship as well as an open invitation to come to visit Ireland.  

PHOTOS - Landmarks go green for St. Patrick's Day

“St Patrick’s Day is a unique and unrivaled annual opportunity to promote Ireland worldwide, particularly in terms of tourism, but also to encourage people to study and invest in Ireland, and to showcase Irish companies, products, services, food and drink.

"The Tourism Ireland Global Greening initiative will complement the broader trade and investment-focused program of ministerial travel for the 2014 St Patrick’s Day period, which will be announced shortly.”

In North America, Chicago’s ‘greening’ will take place right throughout the week leading up to St Patrick’s Day.

It will include the ‘greening’ of Soldier Field stadium, home to the NFL's Chicago Bears, as well as special daily themes – including “Taking it to the Streets,” when State Street and Congress Parkway will turn green; “Eating Green Around the City”; “Broadway in Chicago Goes Green”; “Northside Goes Green”; and “Tall Buildings and Chicago Icons.”

Other new sites going green for the first time in 2014 include Canada’s famous ski resort at Whistler; one of the highest waterfalls in Europe, the Rhine Falls near Zurich; and the distinctive Evoluon Eindhoven in the Netherlands.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “This is the fifth year of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative and each year I am delighted to see even more well-known attractions and landmark sites wishing to get involved and join our St Patrick’s celebrations.

“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 Irish Ambassadors and the Diaspora.

Over 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.

PHOTOS - Landmarks go green for St. Patrick's Day