St Patrick’s Day celebrations hit campus

The Newcastle University Irish Dance Society leading the St Patrick's Day celebrations
Image: Lucinda Lawrie.The Newcastle University Irish Dance Society leading the St Patrick's Day celebrations Image: Lucinda Lawrie.

Despite its Irish origins, St. Patrick’s Day has become a popular celebration across the world and Newcastle Student Union delivered on the festivities this year. Live Irish bands, free Guinness hats, food and inflatables adorned the University last Friday.

The Student Union opened at midday and the first 200 students through the door got their hands on free pints, which were of course Guinness. Once these were served the Union offered a free Guinness hat for every four pints bought to help create the authentic atmosphere. All throughout the town centre students could be seen, adorned with these hats, painting the town green.

NUSU also worked with Newcastle’s very own Stu Brew Society to create a very special green beer. The Stu Brew team said:

“Our St Patrick’s day beer is based on our Lab Session beer, which is dyed with a blue pigment derived from algae by Scottish Bioenergy. Men’s Bar had approached Stu Brew and we felt that there was no better solution that using the blue dye to turn our beer green!” The drink was a huge success, with many students giving it a try, and the startling green colour really added to festivities.

Throughout the day there was also live music in, newly named, Luther’s with a DJ and food stall on the terrace. In the venue face painting was available along with inflatable games, such as gladiator. Another Society that played a crucial role in the day’s festivities was the Newcastle University Irish Dance Society. They put on eight performances at five different venues across the weekend and performed “more modern Irish dance interpretations”, in the words of President Liam Carson. The Society also took over the University’s Snapchat account and created their own Snapchat geo-filter for the day to further publicise the event. On St. Patrick’s Day Liam commented:

“We have had a really busy, frantic and mental day but we absolutely loved every minute of it.

“We performed from 1pm right up until 9pm at venues around Newcastle.

We’ve had technical difficulties at times but the girls and Peter were absolutely superb all day. They danced non-stop simply because they love it so much. We are very grateful that the university allowed us to put on and assist with the event.

“Paddy’s Day is always the busiest day of the year for us dancers but it is the best day of the year. It brings out the best in everyone and makes the world wish they could be Irish. A sentiment that is much needed in the world at this moment. Togetherness, unity and connection.”

The night closed with more Irish clichés being fulfilled as Boyzone and Westlife tribute act BOYZlife took to the Venue to showcase some Irish swagger with classics such as ‘Flying Without Wings’ and ‘Uptown Girl’. However, for many students, the night had just begun as one of the busiest nights out on the Toon following the action-packed day on campus.

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