By Rebecca Mena
Students at County College of Morris celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in a variety of ways including staying home with family food and drinks and attending and performing in parades.
“It was my only day off, so even though I’m Irish, I decided to stay home for the day and enjoy my family’s company,” said Katherine Mahon, a communication major at CCM. “I usually have a traditional dinner the day of, which is corn beef, pickled cabbage, potatoes, and Irish soda bread.”
Mahon said it’s not a tradition for her to go to any of the St. Patrick’s Day parades, but she has attended the New York St. Patrick’s Day parade when she was younger. She said it’s not worth walking through the streets of New York because majority of the people are drinking excessively, so she preferred to stay home with her family to have a nice home-cooked Irish meal with a few drinks.
“This year, I played the bagpipes at the Morristown Parade, the Kearny Parade, and the Ringwood Parade,” said Joseph Hric, a criminal justice major at CCM. “I’ve been playing the bagpipes since seventh grade, so I’ve been lucky enough to play in different parades each year for about seven or eight years now.”
Hric said he started to play the bagpipes because it was one of the more common wind instruments to play at the time while attending high school.
“The parade goes for a couple of miles, so my mouth usually gets really tired.” Hric said. “I usually practice by playing for hours and hours working up to the event so I can prepare myself for three parades or whatever the occasion might be.”
Hric said although he is not Irish, he loves to play the bagpipes, and his family goes out each year to show their support for his events.
“My uncle’s birthday is on March 17, and this year he turned 50, so not only did we celebrate his birthday, but we also got to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day which meant double the drinking and double the food,” said John Maka, an engineering science major at CCM. “During the day, we went to the New York City parade and at night we headed over to my uncle’s house along with a bunch of other family that I don’t usually get to see.”
Maka said he has to prepare himself in the morning of for all the food, desserts, and drinks that are made for that day. He said his mom is known for making her special buffalo chicken dip and her margaritas.
“My family usually goes above and beyond with the food; there’s chicken francaise, chicken parmesan, lasagna, buffalo chicken dip, and endless amounts of desserts,” Maka said. “Even though it’s not your typical Irish meal, I always look forward to seeing my cousins and catching up with other relatives.”