Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Irish heritage is strong in America, with more than 31.5 million residents claiming Irish ancestry, second only to German (43.0 million). Osceola County has lots of smiling Irish eyes with 4.8% claiming their Irish Ancestry or 16,888 people.

Exactly half (23) of the U.S. Presidents trace some of their roots to Ireland, including our current President, Joe Biden.

The five states with the most “smiling Irish eyes” are the states with the highest amount of people, California, New York, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Texas. Of course, most Irish folks still live in the New England area, according to the U.S. Census.

St. Patrick’s Day kicks off a worldwide celebration also known as the Feast of St. Patrick. On March 17th, many will wear green in honor of the Irish and decorate with shamrocks. According to lore, the wearing of the green tradition dates back to a story written about St. Patrick in 1726. According to the tale, St. Patrick, who lived from 385AD to 461 AD, used the shamrock to illustrate the Holy Trinity and worn green clothing.

In the United States, St. Patrick’s Day has been a bit more of a rowdy holiday, known for green beer, parades, and talk of leprechauns. However, in Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day takes on a more solemn mood. It wasn’t until events in the United States broadcast in Ireland that some of the Yankee ways spread across the pond.

To the surprise of many, One Irish-American tradition that is not all that common to Ireland is the enjoying of corned beef and cabbage. So, if there is a bit of Irish in you, or you just love the holiday… head out and have some safe fun. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!