NYC Hosts Sober St. Patrick's Day

NYC Hosts Sober St. Patrick's Day

By Renae Kaslovsky 03/13/12

A groundbreaking event promises a festival of Irish music, dance and comedy—but no booze.

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You don't need booze to love the Irish. Photo via

Defying previous stereotypes of the occasion, the Irish Consulate General in New York and the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) are to present New York City's first-ever sober St. Patrick's Day party on Saturday March 17, offering lively but safe festivities during the famously boozy holiday. Spokeswoman Maura Kelly tells The Fix, "It's a new event for people in the recovery community and for the general public who are interested in a fun and sober holiday." Irish New Yorker William Reilly pioneered the idea after almost losing a family member to addiction seven years ago. He realized that "many New Yorkers in recovery have long since abandoned the festivities surrounding St. Patrick’s Day.” The event—with the motto, "a new party, a new way"—will include 12-step meetings alongside music, comedy and Irish dance. The fun kicks off at Regis High School (85th and Madison) from 3-7 pm, and will feature live music from the John Wheelan Band, champion fiddle player Brian Conway and Broadway singer KT Sullivan. Sponsors include the William C. Dowling Jr. Foundation, Seabrook House and Caron Treatment Centers (NY). Tickets are available for just $12 here.