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The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

Grandeur of green: Dublin celebrates St. Patrick’s Day

The annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration unites Dublin through Irish ancestry
St.+Patricks+Day
Zenil Koovejee
Local Leprechaun Ingrid Register spreads joy by distributing gold to children throughout the fair, embodying the spirited and joyful energy of the celebration.

In the heart of Dublin, California, a wave of green swept over the streets as the community came together to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. From Mar 17-18, the city transformed into a lively carnival of Irish spirit, uniting people from all walks of life.

The day’s festivities began with a lively fun run that weaved its way through the roads of the city. Participants, adorned with shamrocks and leprechaun hats, joyfully made their way to the Dublin Civic Center, where the heart of the fair awaited them.

“The green, gorgeous in green every day, the weather, being in town, meeting folks, the terrific kids. Everything is fun today here,” said Local Leprechaun Ingrid Register.

Throngs of locals and visitors alike donned their finest green attire and celebrated this festival with their heads high. It was a sight to behold as people of all backgrounds came together, bridging the gap between old traditions and new beginnings.

Luck of the Rides: Carnival Charm

The carnival was a whirlwind of excitement, with rides and games catering to kids of all ages. From dizzying spins on the tilt-a-whirl to gentle swings on the carousel, there was no shortage of thrills to be had. 

“I walked with a friend through the 5K fun run and met my family here at the fair. We’re here with our neighbors and we’ve been having a lot of fun. Our kids are having the most fun with all of the rides,” said Dublin resident Danielle Guerra.

As the sun dipped lower in the sky, the carnival took on a magical glow, with twinkling lights illuminating the night. Families gathered around the ferris wheel, rising high above the festivities to catch glimpses of the city bathed in emerald light. The air was alive with the scent of cotton candy and popcorn, adding to the carnival’s whimsical charm.

“The kids won’t let us leave without getting food and games. We love the entire set-up, and the kids especially. We check out all of the rides, even though my small kids can’t go on most of them,” said Dublin resident Marcy Johnson.

For the brave at heart, adrenaline-pumping rides offered a rush of exhilaration. Screams of delight mingled with the whooshing of wind as riders plummeted toward the ground. Their spirits soared with each twist and turn. It was a carnival like no other, where attendees made memories against the backdrop of the sunset.

“I see the whole community wake up early on a Saturday morning to come out here for this wonderful event. I see people, kids, and families and they’re heading out and pushing strollers, and just having fun,” said Dublin Resident and member of the Knights of Columbus Kettle Corn Joe VanBonn. 

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  • Excited children eagerly wait in line for one of the fair’s most popular rides, their anticipation palpable as they anticipated the thrill to come.

  • Children excitedly boarded and disembarked from the rides, their laughter and cheers filling the air with infectious joy.

  • The carnival area is bustling with children and parents, of whom most are waiting in line to ride the attractions.

  • The Johnson family eagerly poses for a photo, capturing joyful moments together as they wait in line for the carnival rides.

  • Every minute of the celebration was filled with music and dance, as lively tunes and spirited performances captivated attendees.

  • This year, the fair welcomed tens of thousands of visitors, cultivating a vibrant atmosphere filled with excitement and camaraderie.

A Journey for the Taste Buds: Global Flavors

Meanwhile, the fairgrounds were a culinary paradise, with food vendors offering a mouthwatering array of treats from around the globe. Spicy aromas wafted through the air as sizzling skewers of tandoori chicken mingled with the smoky scent of barbecue ribs, tempting taste buds and igniting a hunger for adventure.

“We serve kettle corn to visitors – it’s a special type of popcorn. People said we had the longest line at the festival a few years back. It’s a lot of work, but we love volunteering and doing this for a charitable cause,” said VanBonn.

For those craving a taste of Ireland, traditional dishes like hearty beef stew and buttery mashed potatoes were served with a side of warm soda bread. Yet, this St. Patrick’s Day celebration did not confine itself to Irish flavors alone; it embraced a global palate.

“We came out here to spread happiness and joy with baked goods, baked cookies. One of our flavors today is St. Patrick’s Day themed – our Lucky Charms cookie. I stand out here handing out samples to just bring joy and a smile to people like you,” said Owner of Daddy’s Cookies Lance Sanchez.

Families gathered underneath the scorching sun, sharing stories and laughter as they savored each delicious bite. From savory to sweet, the fairgrounds offered a culinary journey that delighted the taste buds and warmed the soul.

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  • Volunteers from the Knights of Columbus Kettle Corn worked nonstop in extremely hot temperatures to meet the demand for popcorn.

  • The Knights of Columbus volunteer their time to sell fresh kettle corn, a fan favorite among attendees.

  • AVT Editor-in-Chief, Zenil Koovejee, purchases a corndog from a food venue.

Treasures From Near and Far: Marketplace Magic

The marketplace was a bustling hub of activity, with vendors showcasing an eclectic mix of goods from near and far. It offered a treasure trove of delights, from handcrafted trinkets to Celtic-inspired artwork. Eager shoppers were seeking a piece of local charm to take home.

“We’re one of the vendors out here, growing pretty much all the nuts you see on the table. Our job is to provide the customers with items to look at things to try out and things to buy,” said Nature’s Candy Co. Vending Operator Sean Nash. 

From sampling new products to participating in fun challenges, visitors found themselves immersed in a world of excitement and exploration. Safeway and other corporations seized the opportunity to connect with the community, hosting interactive and vibrant booths that captivated attendees.

“It’s a family-friendly event that we’ve been to every year. My kids have really enjoyed eating the food and visiting all of the booths. They’ve played with and seen some cool stuff. It’s fun to see that we’ve embraced Dublin’s Irish roots,” said Dublin resident Andrew Chappell

Attendees were also treated to the festive atmosphere and lively entertainment from musicians and performers. And for the little ones, face painting and craft stations provided hours of creative fun, transforming them into whimsical creatures and characters.

“We’re all together. We’re gathering together in a wonderful town. So, come on down and just have fun,” said Register.

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  • While local snack vendors were in full display, the fair also featured a diverse array of vendors selling crafts and other unique goods.

  • Owner of Daddy’s Cookie Co. Lance Sanchez hands out cookie samples to people passing near his truck.

  • Safeway, a company headquartered in Pleasanton, attended the celebration and hosted a minigame near its vintage truck.

Uniting Hearts through Joy

As the day melted into night, the festivities continued with live music performances and traditional Irish dance showcases. On Saturday, a 200-drone light show illuminated the sky, leaving visitors with an awe-inspiring spectacle to conclude the festivities.

“You see friends kind of running into each other [and] family members running into each other. You see that warm embrace, you see the friendship, and you see the community,” said Nash

Underneath the starry sky, friendships were forged, memories were made, and bonds were strengthened. As the last echoes of laughter faded into the night, one thing was clear: in Dublin, the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day lives on, not just for a day, but in the hearts of all who call this city home.

“There’s dogs, there’s babies and strollers, there’s grandmas and grandpas out here. And it just brings everybody together. You have music, some of the best food in town, and a lot of the best people in the world out here,” said Sanchez.

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