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Make St. Pat’s A National Holiday! (And Buy Guinness)

Posted by Bob Skilnik on March 6, 2008

leprechaun.jpgPUBLIC OUTCRY LEADS TO PETITION OF CONGRESS FOR ST. PATRICK’S DAY NATIONAL HOLIDAY RECOGNITION
National survey results suggest millions believe St Patrick’s Day should be a national holiday

New York (February 14, 2008) – In response to overwhelming public sentiment, the makers of Guinness, the world’s most famous Irish stout,
are supporting Proposition 3-17, a national effort to make St. Patrick’s Day an officially-recognized holiday in the United States. 

“Guinness supports the demands of adults around the U.S. to take a day off from work and celebrate their Irish spirit,” said Richard Nichols at Diageo, makers of Guinness stout.  “Thanksgiving, New Year’s Day, Labor Day, and Columbus Day are all observed, and now it is time for St. Patrick’s Day to have its place among these other important dates.”

The goal is to get at least one million petitioned signatures by midnight on March 16, 2008 so they can be presented to Congress the next day, St. Patrick’s Day.  In the thousands of local bars and retailstores where Guinness stout is sold, anyone who wants to support Proposition 3-17 can sign a petition, or visit www.Proposition317.com or text the word “SIGN” to 65579 to add their names to the petition. 

“My friends and I always get together for St. Patrick’s Day,” said Brandon Schad of Minneapolis.  “I don’t know why it’s not already an official holiday, but it falls on a Monday this year, so we’re making it a three-day weekend.” 

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day goes well beyond wearing a green shirt and talking of leprechauns.  According to a recent survey of men and women 21 years of age and older, when asked which they have done to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, 36% responded that they have watched or marched in a parade, 45% responded that they have toasted the day with a beer, and 59% responded that they have celebrated by eating traditional Irish food such as corned beef and cabbage.
 
And St. Patrick’s Day isn’t just for people of Irish ancestry.  Over half (57%) of those surveyed think everyone has a little bit of Irish in them on St. Patrick’s Day.  In fact, while 54% of respondents surveyed with Irish ancestry plan to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year, almost a third of U.S. residents who don’t claim Irish ancestry plan to
celebrate St Patrick’s Day as well.  Proposition 3-17 calls on the nation’s leaders in Washington, DC to grant the wish of the many people around the country who desire to spend the day celebrating with family and friends. 

“We think the public’s excitement about attending rallies and going out to pubs and stores where Guinness stout is sold to sign the petition to make the day official is a testament to the passion of the Irish – and would-be Irish – everywhere,” said Nichols.   

The survey also revealed that many people plan to celebrate sometime during the weekend leading up to this year’s St. Patrick’s Day, which falls on a Monday.  In addition to spearheading the petitioning of Congress for recognition as a national holiday, Diageo is promoting its commitment to responsible drinking by encouraging those who do decide to drink on St. Patrick’s Day, to do so responsibly. 

The United States has been leading the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day for centuries.  On March 17, 1762, the world’s first St. Patrick’s Day parade kicked off in New York City.  More than two centuries later, there are parades held each year in more than 90 cities across the country commemorating St. Patrick’s Day.

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