Kansas City takes its St. Patrick’s Day pretty seriously so St. Patrick’s Day in Playa del Carmen had some high expectations to live up to for us. While there is a long history between Ireland and Mexico (nerd alert – click here only if interested in the business of learning stuff), St. Patrick’s Day doesn’t seem to be as widely recognized in the Mexican culture and we weren’t sure what kind of celebrations we’d find. But no worries, there are enough expats from the U.S., Canada and Europe that some St. Paddy’s Day ‘traditions’ have been transplanted with them. There wasn’t a huge parade or dying the ocean green, but Playa held its own with some unique traditions.

We donned our green attire and headed to La Quinta Avenida where the majority of activity was centered. Just like St. Patrick’s Day elsewhere there was plenty of amusing people watching to be done.

Hanging on St. Paddy's Day in Playa del Carmen
The server and the nice French people next to us all did triple takes on the St. Patrick Swayze shirt.

Many of the restaurants had live music and offered traditional Irish food as well as drink specials on Jameson’s and Guiness.

These guys are local legends and in the Mexican Music Hall of Fame.
These guys are local legends and in the Mexican Music Hall of Fame.
Bar Ranita specials
Ok, maybe just drink specials.
Electric Lemonades at Fah.
Electric Lemonades. I don’t know what’s in ’em, but two for one? Yes please.

There’s also an annual fundraiser held each St. Patrick’s Day for the local fire department called the 3-legged race for the Bomberos. Teams of two people are attached at the ankle and then race to several different Playa bars. At each stop a beer or a shot of tequila must be drunk by both team members before they can move along. It’s a race against the clock, the fastest team wins. There’s not actually a prize for the winning team (except bragging rights), but it’s really a great fundraiser for the fire department. I read that the money goes towards their training program as well as equipment. Jason captured some of the fun here.

And the best part of the evening? Getting home was a walk along the beach. How about you? How did you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

Jason and Deidre on St. Patrick's Day
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I’m wearing green shorts, I swear.