Find Your Folklife – Mike Neville
Everybody wants to be Irish…
… on Saint Patrick’s Day. The celebration in Philadelphia, where I’m from, is one of the biggest anywhere. Everybody wears something green. People drink green beer, which is not good for you because of the green dye, but you drink it anyway. In my family, our favorite thing was Irish potatoes with corned beef and cabbage, like my mom made.
On my mother’s side, my cousins belonged to the Ancient Order of Hibernians. They were from County Cork in the Republic of Ireland, and County Tyrone in Northern Ireland. We did charitable fundraising events building up to Saint Patrick’s Day. That was part of the tradition, to serve those in our community who were in need of a helping hand.
I joined the Nevada Sons and Daughters of Erin when I moved here. It’s open to all folks with an interest in promoting Irish heritage and culture. We do fundraising events like the golf tournament and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival, which has been going on now for more than fifty years in Las Vegas and has grown into one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the country.
—Mike Neville, Sons and Daughters of Erin, Las Vegas