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St. Paddy’s Day in Emerald Environs

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to everyone, and if you live in a place with a similarly bejeweled sobriquet – happy St. Paddy’s Day times two! As most people know, Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle thanks to its green rolling hills and lush landscapes. It’s a poetic title that evokes images of a glittering jewel wedged into the Atlantic where rainbows end legends of leprechauns begin. And while Ireland may be considered the original Emerald Isle it is not the only place on the map to boast such a sparkly nickname. Here are a few other places that share an emerald appellation and (may or may not) celebrate in fine Celtic style: <strong>Emerald Isle (North Carolina, USA)</strong> That’s right, the good ol’ U.S. of A has its very own Emerald Isle, <em>and</em> they have their very own <a title="Emerald Isle" href="http://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/StPats/default.htm" target="_blank">St. Patrick’s Festival</a>! The shindig, which was celebrated on March 15th this year, marked the 23rd year the Emerald Isle has rolled out the green carpet for locals and tourists. The highlight was undoubtedly the Little Ms. &amp; Mr. Leprechaun Contest that was held at the town shopping center, although we have heard no reports on the winners. <strong>Emerald (Wisconsin, USA)</strong> Emerald is nestled in the northwestern part of the Badger State and views from the road as you whip through on your way to somewhere else will show you an endless expanse of pristine green dairy land. It’s sure to be a beautiful sight, but it’s also likely that the town’s 700 or so dairy farmers are too busy doing an honest day’s work to be chasing the ends of rainbows. <strong>Emerald (Queensland, Australia)</strong> As befitting its name, Australia’s Emerald is a service waypoint for the gem fields located in the area, although the most notable type found in them are sapphires. While St. Patrick’s Day is enthusiastically celebrated throughout Australia, the town of Emerald – population 12,895 – has no special events planned for the day. Tourists may enjoy many other activities, though, including visits to the gem fields, numerous sunflower fields and the town’s historic railway station. <strong>“Emerald Coast” (Florida)</strong> The “Emerald Coast” is a swath of the Florida panhandle that stretches roughly from Pensacola to Panama City along the northern rim of the Gulf of Mexico. The unofficial name celebrates the area’s emerald-green waters that wash lazily ashore on sugary white beaches. This stretch of the Sunshine State is no stranger to beachside <em>bonhomie</em> and revels in strong Irish pride. Destin, Santa Rosa Beach and Ft. Walton Beach are just a few of several resort towns that hold parades, breakfasts and festivals to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day. <strong>“Emerald City” (Seattle, USA)</strong> Last (on this list) but certainly not least is <em>the</em> “Emerald City,” so named for its staggering overabundance of everything green. Seattle and its denizens take great pride in the verdant color of the Pacific Northwest, which is celebrated in everything from its pro sports teams to its insistence on having a park at every street corner. Wherever you are, <a title="ATG Stores Home Page" href="http://www.atgstores.com/default.aspx" target="_blank">ATGStores.com</a> hopes you have a sparkling St. Paddy’s Day.
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