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City of Lancaster Furthers Partnership with International Company, US Topco Energy, Inc.

 

 

 

 

Press Conference

 WHAT:           City of Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris and representatives of U.S. TopCo will sign a Memorandum of Understanding and a Master Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), to further develop this public/private partnership, allowing for the development and construction of a number of solar energy facilities.


 

WHERE:        Michael D. Antonovich Antelope Valley Courthouse

42011 4th St. West
Lancaster, CA 93534

WHEN:         Wednesday, July 20, 2011

                        11:00am

WHO:             L.A. County Supervisor Michael Antonovich

City of Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris
City of Lancaster Council Members
City of Lancaster Deputy Mayor, Kit Yee Szeto

Mr. Joshua Chang, Chairman, US Topco Energy, Inc.                                                
Mr. Chung-Chen Kung, Director General of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles                                                                                                         

Mr. Charles Lee, President, Topco Scientific Co., LTD.                                                                        
Mr. Simon Chang, Chairman, PowerCom Co., LTD.                                                                             
Mr. Jackson Torng, Chairman & CEO, Ligitek Photovoltaic Co., LTD.             
Lancaster Deputy City Manager Jason Caudle   

 

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July 19, 2011 Posted by | antelope valley, antelope valley community, AV Best Attorney, CITY GOVERNMENT, city of lancaster, City of Lancater, lancaster | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

City of Lancaster to Begin Offering Farmers’ Markets on The BLVD this Thursday

The City of Lancaster announced today that The BLVD will now feature a weekly Farmers’ Market on Thursdays.  In partnership with Raw Inspiration, a non-profit operator for California Certified Farmers’ Markets, the City is offering citizens yet another way to live healthier and be proactive about personal wellness.

 

“I cannot stress enough how important it is for our citizens to have access to fresh and affordable healthy foods,” stated Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris. “The addition of this farmers’ market on The BLVD gives everyone an opportunity to support local vendors, while making health-smart purchasing decisions.  Conveniently located in the downtown area, this market will attract both residents and the business community.”

 

Beginning this Thursday, July 14th, and continuing every Thursday thereafter from 3pm to 8pm, the farmers’ market will take place on The BLVD between Date and Ehrlich.  Fresh in-season produce and fruit will be available, as well as organic and prepared foods; arts and crafts; and flowers.  In accordance with the City Council’s initiative to create a more health-conscious community, the farmers’ market is geared toward educating adults and children on how to improve their eating habits, fight obesity, practice proper nutrition, engage in an active lifestyle, and enhance overall well-being.

 

“Farmers’ markets are popular because they offer a wide variety of top-quality goods at low direct-sale prices,” said Lancaster Director of Parks, Recreation and Arts Bob Greene.  “We wanted to partner with an experienced, reputable management company who will screen all vendors based upon high-quality, affordable products.  Raw Inspiration fits these criteria, adding us as their 20th market location.”

 

Raw Inspiration’s mission is to educate children and adults on the importance of a healthy diet, especially the importance of eating fresh fruits and vegetables daily. To accomplish this mission, they have set up a program where growers can distribute their produce at neighborhood farmers’ markets.

 

“We are always eager to partner with like-minded organizations who understand the significance of growing a healthy happy community. Conceptually, a farmers’ market has always been our hope for The BLVD, and we look forward to this new venture,” added Mayor Parris. This is only the beginning of a local staple we plan to grow continuously. We encourage everyone to come out and support our new weekly market.


July 14, 2011 Posted by | antelope valley, BLVD, blvd events, blvd today, Lancaster BLVD entertainment, Lancaster BLVD event | , , , , , | Leave a comment

City of Lancaster Goes Online with Business License Renewals

The City of Lancaster now offers business license renewal capabilities on its website.  As the City continues to expand its green initiatives while maximizing customer convenience options, one more avenue is provided to make doing business in Lancaster a breeze.

 

“This new feature enables existing business owners to renew their business licenses online,” stated Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris. “Many people now pay their bills from the comfort of their home via the internet, reducing the time and energy they spend on a necessary task.  We’re glad to offer this convenient option to our citizens as well.”

 

Business owners will continue to receive their renewal notices in the mail.  However, the paper bills will provide information on how the process to renew a business license and pay the fees due can be completed by visiting the City’s website at www.cityoflancasterca.org.  Once at the site, proceed to “I Want To… Renew a Business License” or “Finance Department… Renew a Business License” and click on the link provided.  Two pieces of information are required to complete the process online: 1) the business license account number and 2) the four-digit pin number (which is located on the paper renewal notice near the summary of charges at the top of the page).  If this information has been lost or misplaced, the City of Lancaster Finance Department can be contacted at (661) 723-6237 for further assistance.

 

The business license online renewal system accepts both full and partial payments.  Please note that although partial payments are allowed, business license certificates will not be issued until accounts are paid in full.  Certificates are printed and mailed every Friday for all (paid in full) payments received by the previous Thursday.  The online payment option is not available for renewing the following types of businesses: massage, group home, taxi or tow service.  These businesses are excluded because they require additional steps for renewal processing, such as fingerprinting and background checks.

 

For additional information regarding utilizing the online business license renewal feature or to learn how to obtain a business license, please call the City of Lancaster Finance Department at (661) 723-6237.

 

July 5, 2011 Posted by | antelope valley, ANTELOPE VALLEY BUSINESS, business, city of lancaster, City of Lancater | , , , | Leave a comment

PRESS CONFERENCE

WHAT:        The City of Lancaster will recognize Lancaster’s Citizen of the Year, Dr. Jennifer Hill for her ongoing contributions to the community and efforts to better the lives of hundreds of people.

WHERE:       Antelope Valley Outpatient Imaging Center
Conference Room 15, Fourth Floor
44105 15th Street West (J-5 & 15th W. intersection)

WHEN:          Wednesday, July 6th, 1:30 pm

WHO:             Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris
Edward Mirzabegian, CEO, Antelope Valley Hospital
Dr. Jennifer Hill, Lancaster Citizen of the Year
Lancaster City Council Members
Lancaster City Manager Mark V. Bozigian

                       

 

July 5, 2011 Posted by | antelope valley, lancaster, Mayor of Lancaster, Mayor R. Rex Parris | , , , | Leave a comment

Avoid “Carmageddon:” There’s Fun, Food, Entertainment and More in Palmdale!

With the impending traffic nightmare on the horizon for the Interstate 405 Sepulveda Pass Improvement Project scheduled for July 15 to 18, the City of Palmdale is encouraging its residents and Los Angeles area residents to take advantage of a weekend of fun, food and entertainment in Palmdale.

“Traffic is going to be tough around the I-405 and I-10 area,” said Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford. “Authorities are advising people to avoid the area until the project is complete.  We’re inviting everyone to take this opportunity to experience some of the summer fun and amenities we have to offer in Palmdale.”

Beginning on Thursday, July 14, the City of Palmdale has a full slate of activities and entertainment for people of all ages that will run the entire weekend.  Those activities include:

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    Thursday, July 14

    Thursday Night on the Square — Poncitlán Square, 5:30 – 9 pm. An open-air market featuring specialty items and enticing food, free live music and activities for kids, this has been a community favorite for 11 years running. Each week features a different theme; July 14 is Sock It To Me, where kids can create a sock puppet, a baby sock chick and their own hacky sack. Music will be provided by Lorena Mackey & The Hi-Lites.

    Friday, July 15

    Jazz Night at Embassy Suites — Fourteen Restaurant & Bar, Embassy Suites Palmdale, 39375 5th St. West, Palmdale; 8 to 11 pm. Music by the Tony Capko Trio, featuring Herbie Kay on the sax. The Embassy Suites in Palmdale is an upscale, full-service, all-suites hotel. The Jazz Night environment is one of modern urban luxury with dim lights at night and romantic candlelight adorning tables. Relax in sophistication while sipping a delightfully handcrafted cocktail or enjoying a deliciously prepared meal from Fourteen Restaurant.  

    Sundown at DryTown — DryTown Water Park, 3850 E. Ave. S, Palmdale, 6:30 – 9:30 pm. Enjoy a beautiful desert summer evening at this six-acre Old West mining town-themed aquatic park that features a 925-foot lazy river, a 35-foot waterslide tower with three waterslides and splashdown pool, and a 6,000 square foot children’s water playground, including a 50 gallon Vortex Splash bucket, three water rings and two water cannons. Tickets are $7 for ages 9 and up, $5 for ages 3 through 8.

    Saturday, July 16

    DryTown Water Park — 3850 E. Ave. S, Palmdale, 10 am – 6 pm. Day use tickets range from $6 to $16. Info available at www.cityofpalmdale.org/drytown or by calling 661/267-6161.

    Starlight Concert Series – “America-40th Anniversary Tour — 8 pm, Palmdale Amphitheater, 2723 Rancho Vista Blvd. Palmdale. 2010 marked the 40th Anniversary of perennial classic-rock favorite, America.  Their best-known tunes – I Need You, Ventura Highway, A Horse With No Name, Don’t Cross The River, Tin Man, Lonely People, and Sister Golden Hair – were cornerstones of 1970s Top 40 and FM rock radio. Admission is $5 for age 13 and older; guests 12 and younger are admitted free, and parking is free. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets. Carry-in food, beverages, coolers, alcohol and pets are not permitted. Food will be available for purchase.

    Sunday, July 17

    Yard House Restaurant Grand Opening — Antelope Valley Mall, 1247 W. Ave. P, Palmdale. Enjoy Palmdale’s newest restaurant on its first day of operation! Upscale eatery with extensive selection of draft beers.  Info: 661/274.9271.  If Yard House is too crowded opening day, no worries: Restaurant Row at the Antelope Valley Mall also offers BJ’s Brewhouse and Restaurant, Famous Dave’s BBQ, Carino’s Italian, Chili’s, El Torito, Olive Garden, Outback Steakhouse, Fresco II Mediterranean, Claim Jumper, Denny’s, Chipotle, Carl’s Jr., Arby’s and Red Lobster.  Restaurants across Palmdale including Steer n’ Stein, Inka Peruvian, Goldfish Japanese, Mana Asian, Tokyo Steak and more will satisfy every palate. For a list of restaurants in Palmdale, visit www.cityofpalmdale.org/visitors/restaurants.asp.

    Accomodations

    Palmdale is home to several outstanding hotels that offer exceptional service and accommodations.  Embassy Suites Palmdale, featuring 150 suites, opened its doors at 39375 5th Street in April 2010. It contains some of the largest rooms of any hotel in Palmdale and is the tallest building in the Antelope Valley. The Hilton Garden Inn Palmdale is perfectly located at the Antelope Valley Regional Mall where it is convenient to all shopping, movies, and restaurants. The Palmdale Hotel and Holiday Inn recently underwent major upgrading and refurbishing, while the new Staybridge Suites and Hampton Inn & Suites provide comfortable suite options. For more information on lodging in Palmdale, please visit www.cityofpalmdale.org/visitors/index.html.

    Nearby Attractions

    Joe Davies Heritage Airpark at Palmdale Plant 42, 2001 E. Avenue P

    Visitors may view a collection of aircraft flown, tested, designed, produced or modified at United States Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale. The Airpark currently includes 17 retired military aircraft on static display plus a 1/8 scale model of the B-2 Spirit, an AGM-28 Hound Dog Missile and various components from other aircraft. A B-52 and C-46 are also on display. Info: www.cityofpalmdale.org/airpark.

    Devil’s Punchbowl, 28000 Devils Punch Bowl Rd., Pearblossom

    A tilted sandstone county park within the Angeles National Forest on the northern slopes of the San Gabriel Mountains that features many fascinating and colorful rock formations. There are short trails within the park which showcase the geologic features along the Punchbowl and San Andreas Faults.  Info: www.devils-punchbowl.com.

    Rancho Vista Golf Club, 3905 Club Rancho Drive, Palmdale

    Located in the heart of Palmdale, it provides guests with an exceptional golfing, dining and entertaining venue. The Ted Robinson designed 18-hole golf course offers a lush oasis perfectly complementing the surrounding desert landscape while the Clubhouse features a comfortable retreat for a quiet family dinner or celebrating special occasions. Info:www.ranchovistagolfcourse.com.

    Shopping

    Antelope Valley Mall, 1233 Rancho Vista Blvd., Palmdale.

    The High Desert’s largest and finest shopping destination features about 140 stores.  The anchors, Macy’s, Dillards, JC Penney, Sears and Forever 21 are complimented by Hollister Co., New York & Company, Lane Bryant, American Eagle Outfitters, Aéropostale, Build-a-Bear Workshop, Zumiez, Hot Topic, Frederick’s of Hollywood, Sephora, Old Navy and many more. Information: www.av-mall.com.

    Cinema

    A 16 screen Cinemark theater with “stadium style seating” theater opened in the north “ring road” which surrounds the Antelope Valley Mall. It is called “Restaurant Row’ due to the many restaurants located there.

     

For more information, call 661/267-5115.

July 5, 2011 Posted by | antelope valley, antelope valley Events, palmdale, palmdale summer fun | , , , | Leave a comment

New City of Lancaster Poster Now on Sale

During last night’s City Council meeting, Council Member Sherry Marquez unveiled the new City of Lancaster poster. 

  

“This beautifully designed poster captures the rich history of Lancaster, showcasing several fun-filled, family friendly events within our community, while highlighting the city’s ongoing solar energy efforts,” said Marquez.  

A brilliant blue sky and fields of blooming poppies provide a backdrop to images which include a nod to aerospace, the AV Fair, the Streets of Lancaster Grand Prix, and nightlife along The BLVD.  

Copies of the poster are now available for purchase for $5 each, at the City Hall Parks & Recreation counter. For additional information, please contact the Parks department at 661-723-6077


 

June 30, 2011 Posted by | antelope valley, av fair, City of Lancater | , , | Leave a comment

What’s happening in the Antelope Valley?

Goodmorning Everyone! Another great week in the Antelope Valley is here! We’re enjoying great summer weather and have some fantastic news and events to share with everybody!

 

ilivetodayav network update

We’ve been rolling out a lot of great chances on the site, but the on that’s making the most waves is the new latest activity module. If you you look at the front page just below the chat there is now a place to update your status from the front page! You can also like and comment photos, videos and blogs right from the front page now too!

 

Events

Whether you are looking to interact with the local art scene, network for your business or enjoy a great family outing, the Antelope Valley has it all. These great events are just around the corner: 

Goodmorning Antelope Valley June 28 

Citizen Input Press Conference June 29

Thursday Night on the Square June 30

Expression Session July 1

11th Annual Rat Fink.Party & Kustom Kulture Extravaganza July 30

More events in the Antelope Valley – Know of a great event, don’t keep it a secret, upload your own events too!

 

News

Ilivetodayav has become a great source for user-generated news and information about the community. Whether your looking to find the latest press release from the city, great local music reviewspersonal op-ed pieces or tips on how to save energy this summer chances are you’ll find something great to read in BLOGS

We’d like to especially highlight these great articles:

 

What’s All This ‘Babble’ about The Great Tortilla Heist?
Living with the Gods 
Gas Prices on the Rise 
L.A. County looks into alleged racism in Antelope Valley housing-subsidy crackdown 
Abstract Art by Michael Jones 
VINYL VINYL VINYL

 

Videos

Great videos are being uploaded to ilivetodayav all the time! Highligthing just a couple of them here today:

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Watch more Antelope Valley Videos

 

Thanks for being a part of ilivetodayav, keep posting photos, videos, blogs and events! Keep making friends and be sure to leave your neighbor a friendly comment!

Sponsor of the Week – Meagan of QH Veterinary  Member of the Week – Moldy Marvin 

 

 

June 27, 2011 Posted by | antelope valley, antelope valley Events | , , , , | Leave a comment

Weekly Community News from ilivetodayav! 6/20/2011

School’s Out! Summer Starts June 21st

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Kick off your summer with these Fun Events!

Goodmorning Antelope Valley June 21st

Free Yoga in the Park June 22nd

Bring Your Own Vinyl Night June 22nd

The BLVD – Charlie Essers Photography Show June 24th 

Summer Deals – 25% Off Hawaiian Shirts at Vintage Styles Now

Get in Shape this summer Pre-Registration for AV Dance Studio 81 Starts NOW!

Sponsor of the Week – Vicki Culver of Beltone  Member of the Week –Dr. Andrea Mills

Read these great BLOGS

 Great energy saving tips. Palmdale/Lancaster

Look Twice for Motorcycles

Fathers day 2011

My Father, which art in Heaven…

Fathers Day

HAPPY FATHERS DAY TO ALL THE FATHERS AROUND THE GLOBE ENJOY THIS DAY!!!

Some Great Videos:


Greet our New Members

Phillip Ressler

Palmdale, CA, United States

John Kratz

Lancaster, CA, United States

Martha Flores Beauty Salon

Palmdale, CA, United States

Jamie Garrison Barlow

Lancaster, CA, United States

Tony Mottola

Lancaster, California, United States

Lance Brown

Palmdale, CA, United States

Sheryl Jennings

Lancaster, CA, United States

Steven Strauss

Palmdale, CA, United States

Hope Everyone’s Week Goes great!

Stop by the BLVD Today Cafe on Lancaster BLVD if you have questions or comments!

P.S. We’re HIRING! Details HERE —> Antelope Valley Jobs  Contact US

June 20, 2011 Posted by | antelope valley, antelope valley blogs, antelope valley videos | , , , , | Leave a comment

Elm Avenue Community Garden Growing Strong Residents Encouraged to Submit Projects for 2011 UNITE Program

November 6, 2010 marked the launch of the City of Lancaster’s Uniting Neighbors in a Team Effort (UNITE) Program, which aims to provide area residents with a forum to propose neighborhood improvement projects and compete for the funding and resources they need to bring these projects to fruition. Among the efforts initiated on the event’s inaugural project day was the Elm Avenue Community Garden, under the leadership of Dave Mashore and Master Gardener Susie Bowman. Now, six months later, the dream of a thriving community garden in the heart of downtown Lancaster is still growing strong. The site celebrated its official grand opening this Saturday, June 4 at 10:00 am at the corner of Elm Avenue and Milling Street. 

In November, more than 100 volunteers turned out to help transform what was once a vacant lot into a neighborhood gathering place which would also serve to provide participating families with fresh, nutritious fruits and vegetables. In this first phase, volunteers worked together to clear weeds; dig irrigation ditches; and build planters. 

“The Elm Avenue Community Garden is an excellent example of a project with the power to truly unite a neighborhood,” said Mayor R. Rex Parris. “Not only did it bring more than 100 local residents together to work toward a common goal on its initial launch day; it will also continue to bring neighbors together day after day, year after year as they enjoy the healthful benefits of gardening and growing their own organic produce.” 

The garden’s next major workday was the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, when over 110 volunteers gathered to make further improvements to the garden, including raised bed planters throughout. Eventually, the garden will feature gardening classes for the community; a meditation area; a garden shed donated by Youthbuild; a mosaic garden sign donated by local artist Kris Holladay; and more. More than a dozen local organizations and businesses have supported the garden, including: 

• America the Beautiful Fund
• City of Lancaster
• Home Depot
• Lees Bees
• Paving the Way Foundation
• Round Table Pizza
• Superior Nursery
• Sparkletts Water
• Starbucks Coffee
• Target
• The Catalyst Foundation
• Tip Top Tree Service
• Wal-Mart
• Wallace Demolition 

“I encourage our residents to put their creativity and energy to work on projects such as this,” added Parris. “Only you know how your neighborhood could best benefit from this program. I urge you to put that vital knowledge to good use by proposing a project that would enhance your area of our community, whether it be a community garden; a mural; an after-school program; or something entirely original.” 

This year’s UNITE Program is now accepting applications. To apply, visit www.saferstrongerneighborhoods.org, click “UNITE Lancaster Program,” and download an application. Applications must be received by 5:00 pm on Friday, June 17. Further information is available on the website, by phone at (661) 723-6072, or via e-mail at unite@cityoflancasterca.org.

June 8, 2011 Posted by | antelope valley, ANTELOPE VALLEY BUSINESS, antelope valley community, Mayor R. Rex Parris, Uniting Neighbors in a Team Effort | , , , , | Leave a comment

All about St. Patricks Day

http://www.avflorist.com 888.948.6006 Order online today and Make St. Patricks Day a reason to show someone you care.

A man dressed as a leprechaun in New Orleans, Louisiana. 

A man dressed as a leprechaun grins for the camera in New Orleans.

Photograph by Taylor S. Kennedy, National Geographic

John Roach

for National Geographic News

Updated March 16, 2011

On St. Patrick’s Day—Thursday, March 17—millions of people will don green and celebrate the Irish with parades, good cheer, and perhaps a pint of beer.

But few St. Patrick’s Day revelers have a clue about St. Patrick, the historical figure, according to the author of St. Patrick of Ireland: A Biography.

“The modern celebration of St. Patrick’s Day really has almost nothing to do with the real man,” said classics professor Philip Freeman of Luther College in Iowa. (Take an Ireland quiz.)

Who Was the Man Behind St. Patrick’s Day?

For starters, the real St. Patrick wasn’t even Irish. He was born in Britain around A.D. 390 to an aristocratic Christian family with a townhouse, a country villa, and plenty of slaves.

What’s more, Patrick professed no interest in Christianity as a young boy, Freeman noted.

At 16, Patrick’s world turned: He was kidnapped and sent overseas to tend sheep as a slave in the chilly, mountainous countryside of Ireland for seven years. (See Ireland pictures.)

“It was just horrible for him,” Freeman said. “But he got a religious conversion while he was there and became a very deeply believing Christian.”

St. Patrick’s Disembodied Voices

According to folklore, a voice came to Patrick in his dreams, telling him to escape. He found passage on a pirate ship back to Britain, where he was reunited with his family.

The voice then told him to go back to Ireland.

“He gets ordained as a priest from a bishop, and goes back and spends the rest of his life trying to convert the Irish to Christianity,” Freeman said.

Patrick’s work in Ireland was tough—he was constantly beaten by thugs, harassed by the Irish royalty, and admonished by his British superiors. After he died on March 17, 461, Patrick was largely forgotten.

But slowly, mythology grew around Patrick, and centuries later he was honored as the patron saint of Ireland, Freeman noted.

(Related: “St. Patrick’s Day Fast Facts: Beyond the Blarney.”)

St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock Shortage

According to St. Patrick’s Day lore, Patrick used the three leaves of a shamrock to explain the Christian holy trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Today, St. Patrick’s Day revelers wear a shamrock out of tradition. But people in Ireland hoping to wear an authentic shamrock are running low on luck.

Trifolium dubium, the wild-growing, three-leaf clover that some botanists consider the official shamrock, is an annual plant that germinates in the spring. Recently, Ireland has had two harsh winters, affecting the plant’s growth.

“The growing season this year is at least as delayed as it was last year, and therefore there is the potential for shortage of home-grown material,” John Parnell, a botanist at Trinity College Dublin, said in an email.

“We have had frost and snow showers in parts of Ireland within the past week,” he added.

Other experts pin the shortage of the traditional plant as much on modern farming methods and loss of traditional hay meadows.

“The cold winters we are having here lately are just another nail in the coffin,”Carsten Krieger, a landscape and nature photographer whose books includeThe Wildflowers of Ireland, said via email.

To make up for the shortfall, many sellers are resorting to other three-leaf clovers, such as the perennials Trifolium repens and Medicago lupulina. According to the Irish Times, these plants are “bogus shamrocks.”

Trinity College’s Parnell agreed that Trifolium dubium is the most commonly used shamrock today, which lends credence to the claims of authenticity.

However, he added, the custom of wearing a shamrock dates back to the 17th and 18th centuries, and “I know of no evidence to say what people then used. I think the argument on authenticity is purely academic—basically I’d guess they used anything cloverlike then.”

What’s more, botanists say there’s nothing uniquely Irish about shamrocks. Most clover species can be found throughout Europe.

No Snakes in Ireland

Another St. Patrick myth is the claim that he banished snakes from Ireland. It’s true no snakes exist on the island today, Freeman said—but they never did.

Ireland, after all, is surrounded by icy ocean waters—much too cold to allow snakes to migrate from Britain or anywhere else.

Since snakes often represent evil in literature, “when Patrick drives the snakes out of Ireland, it is symbolically saying he drove the old, evil, pagan ways out of Ireland [and] brought in a new age,” Freeman said.

The snake myth, the shamrock story, and other tales were likely spread by well-meaning monks centuries after St. Patrick’s death, Freeman said.

(Related: “Snakeless in Ireland: Blame Ice Age, Not St. Patrick.”)

St. Patrick’s Day: Made in America?

Until the 1970s, St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland was a minor religious holiday. A priest would acknowledge the feast day, and families would celebrate with a big meal, but that was about it.

“St. Patrick’s Day was basically invented in America by Irish-Americans,” Freeman said.

Irish-American history expert Timothy Meagher said Irish charitable organizations originally celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with banquets in places such as Boston, Massachusetts; Savannah, Georgia; and Charleston, South Carolina.

Eighteenth-century Irish soldiers fighting with the British in the U.S. Revolutionary War held the first St. Patrick’s Day parades. Some soldiers, for example, marched through New York City in 1762 to reconnect with their Irish roots.

Other parades followed in the years and decades after, including well-known celebrations in Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago, primarily in flourishing Irish immigrant communities.

“It becomes a way to honor the saint but also to confirm ethnic identity and to create bonds of solidarity,” said Meagher, of Catholic University in Washington, D.C..

Dyeing the River Green for St. Patrick’s Day

Sometime in the 19th century, as St. Patrick’s Day parades were flourishing, wearing the color green became a show of commitment to Ireland, Meagher said.

In 1962 the show of solidarity took a spectacular turn in Chicago when the city decided to dye a portion of the Chicago River green.

The tradition started when parade organizer Steve Bailey, head of a plumbers’ union, noticed how a dye used to trace possible sources of river pollution had stained a colleague’s overalls a brilliant green, according togreenchicagoriver.com.

Why not use the dye to turn the whole river green on St. Patrick’s Day, Bailey thought. So began the tradition.

The environmental impact of the dye is minimal compared with pollution such as bacteria from sewage-treatment plants, said Margaret Frisbie, the executive director of the advocacy group Friends of the Chicago River.

Rather than advising against the dye, her group focuses on turning the Chicago River into a welcoming habitat full of fish, herons, turtles, and beavers. If the river becomes a wildlife haven, the thinking goes, Chicagoans won’t want to dye their river green.

“Our hope is that, as the river continues to improve, ultimately people can get excited about celebrating St. Patrick’s Day different ways,” she said.

Pint of Guinness on St. Patrick’s Day

On any given day 5.5 million pints of Guinness, the famous Irish stout brand, are consumed around the world.

But on St. Patrick’s Day, that number more than doubles to 13 million pints, said Beth Davies Ryan, global corporate-relations director of Guinness.

“Historically speaking, a lot of Irish immigrants came to the United States and brought with them lots of customs and traditions, one of them being Guinness,” she said.

Today, the U.S. tradition of St. Patrick’s Day parades, packed pubs, and green silliness has invaded Ireland with full force, said Freeman, the classics professor.

The country, he noted, figured out that the popularity of St. Patrick’s Day was a good way to boost spring tourism. (Get National Geographic Traveler magazine’s list of the best hotels in Ireland.)

“Like anybody else,” he said, “they can take advantage of a good opportunity.”

March 17, 2011 Posted by | antelope valley, antelope valley social media | , | Leave a comment

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