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Traditional and Off-the-Wall Places to Visit This St. Patrick’s Day

Filed under: College Life - BookRenter Team
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By guest blogger Kelsey Bradshaw
Kelsey is a sophomore at the University of Oregon majoring in Journalism and Facebook (wait, that’s not a real major?!). Originally a track star from Medford, Oregon, she now enjoys going for runs with her friends and working out at Eugene Crossfit. She also enjoys visiting National Parks, playing in the snow, and hanging out at the beach…double points if they’re all at the same time.

In my small hometown, you wouldn’t know it was St. Patrick’s Day unless someone pinched you for not wearing green. But in some cities, Irish pride completely takes over on the 17th of March, resulting in leprechaun costumes, lots of bagpipes, and green everywhere—even the river, in some cases. Check out these city’s celebrations and be sad that your city isn’t cooler.

The very first St. Patrick’s Day in America was celebrated in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1737. Now, a crowd of more than 850,000 people shows up to watch its annual parade full of floats, bagpipers, and marching bands.

New York was second in hosting a St Patrick’s Day parade in 1762–but the tradition carries on to this day, making it the longest continuously-running civilian parade in the world. Nowadays, three million people gather to view the nearly 150,000 people that participate in the parade.

The Chicago River on St. Patrick's Day is dyed green. Photo by Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar.

Chicago is home to one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the city, but that’s not all it offers: a 48 year old tradition of dyeing the river green with more than 40 pounds of vegetable dye turns the river green for several hours. Similarly, the town of Savannah, Georgia, dyes all of their fountains green for their three-hour parade.

The small town of New London, Wisconsin, changes its highway signs to read “New Dublin” on St. Patrick’s Day each year (originally a prank, but one that has since been approved by the city council). Their St. Patty’s Day parade draws 30,000 people to a town with a population of 7,000, and boasts a collection of Celtic bands, bagpipe players, and a green hearse.

The shortest St. Patrick’s Day parade is set on the official Ripley’s shortest bridge in the world–the 98 foot long Bridge Street in Hot Springs, Arkansas, complete with Irish Elvis impersonators, Irish dancers and a celebrity “Grand Master” (Mario Lopez has gotten the honor in the past—I know, I just bought tickets, too).

Speaking of world records, in O’Neill, Nebraska, the world’s largest shamrock is found painted in the middle of the road between two highways. This town takes its Irish heritage seriously–on the 17th of every month, residents wear green to celebrate their inner leprechaun.

And, finally, there’s the original Dublin, Ireland, where the festivities last all week and there are more than 15,000 pounds of fireworks let off.

Whether your festivities take you to see the green Chicago River or just the green beer at your local bar, have a fun St. Patrick’s Day and may the luck of the Irish be with you!

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We’re Celebrating Earth Day All Month Long. Help Us Make A Difference!

Filed under: Company Updates, Contests and Promotions - BookRenter Team
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Earth Day is quickly approaching and to celebrate the 40th Anniversary we’re partnering with Sustainable Harvest to save 10,000 trees. To save a tree all you have to do is become a fan of the BookRenter Facebook page. We’ll even let you name the tree (ours is Willow) and we’ll send you a link to download a certificate of honor and give you a online badge for some bragging rights!

Why Save a Tree?

– Trees are key to our ecosystem and create homes for our furry and winged friends!

– Forty trees remove 80 pounds of air pollutants annually

– An average size tree produces enough oxygen in one year to keep a family of four breathing

– A 70-year old tree stores over three tons of carbon

Plus…we’re also having a Hug a Tree contest.  Simply give a tree (any tree) a big old bear hug, take a picture and submit it.  You’ll be entered to win a do-it-yourself eco-trip ($600 in REI store credit, a 1-year National Parks pass plus other eco-goodies).

So become a fan, get your camera out and join in on the fun. The first 50 people who enter the Hug A Tree photo contest also get a free BookRenter.com Earth Day 2010 t-shirt.

Go Green!

Save a Tree
Hug a Tree

P.S.  In addition to saving, naming and hugging a tree, a few of us in the BookRenter corporate office pledge to use reusable bags when we shop for all things personal life.  It is something that we do on occasion, but we want to make it happen every time we shop.  At the grocery store, at the mall, at the farmer’s market, etc.   Just taking the extra time to remember to bring it and use it.  Do you have a personal pledge this Earth Day?  If so, let us know, we would love to hear about it.

The BookRenter.com Team

A certified green company, to learn more about our green efforts, visit http://www.bookrenter.com/green

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