The closest I ever got to Ireland on St. Patrick's Day was via NBC's Today Show in 2009. For two days, the show was broadcast from County Wicklow and the Dublin Castle. I visited Ireland for the first time five years ago, and would love to revisit. My husband and I, along with friends, stayed in the Temple Bar area of Dublin and it was fun, friendly and loaded with history.
I recall hearing that they don't actually celebrate St. Patrick's Day in Ireland. Not true. The 2012 St. Patrick's Festival is March 16-19, and includes a parade on March 17 along with four full days of entertainment and festivities.
But the party doesn't stop at the Irish border. This year, Culture Ireland's Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht will celebrate Irish culture around the world, staging events in New York, London, Paris, Moscow and Beijing.
As far as St. Patrick and me, I'll be making Irish soda bread, quaffing a Harp lager and watching the 2006 film Once, which was filmed in Dublin (and is now a musical on Broadway). Erin Go Bragh!