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St. Patrick's Day celebrations for all ages

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- This time of year, the question comes up, "How do teenagers celebrate St. Patrick's Day?" I am sure a few ways come to mind, but let's think of ways to have fun that are legal, OK?

The easiest way to celebrate is just to have a party with all of your friends! Get a big group of people together, listen to some Irish music, dye the food and drinks (and perhaps your hair) green and eat some Irish food! Easy, right?

Another thing you could do at the party is have everyone try and learn how to stepdance like they do in Ireland; not only will this be fun to do, but it will be entertaining to watch. Don't forget to wear green, either, like a green sweater with a giant shamrock on it or some glow-in-the-dark shamrock earrings.

Another way to celebrate is a little more difficult to do, but would be worth it: plan a trip to a big city for its St. Patrick's Day celebration. The Saturday before St. Patrick's Day, New York City and Savannah host two of the largest parades not just in the U.S. but the world. St. Louis, San Francisco and Chicago also have big St. Patrick's Day events.

Perhaps the place to go, though, is Boston. Boston has the highest number of Irish descendants by percentage of population, and its huge South Boston St. Patrick's Day parade is the first recorded anywhere in the world.

Now, before I go on, remember the meaning behind St. Patrick's Day. This day celebrates the patron saint Patrick and how he brought Christianity to Ireland. Many people, specifically those of Irish descent, can take offense to how some people celebrate this holiday, so keep in mind the true meaning behind the day during your festivities.

Finally, if you plan on spending the day with your family, here are some fun ways to celebrate. First, have a scavenger hunt; this is really easy, and little kids love it! You could also watch a cute, family-oriented movie like "Luck of the Irish."

The last, and probably the coolest, idea on my list is to have leprechauns visit your younger brothers, sisters, nieces or nephews. To do this, just set up a "leprechaun trap" the night before with the kids, and when they're asleep, put little green footprints down on the ground, so it looks like a leprechaun stopped by. You could even leave behind some gold candy coins.

These are just a few of the many ways you can celebrate St. Patrick's Day, so get creative and have some fun!


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