Russell & Lazarus February/March 2020


Celebrating St. Paddy’s Day in Ireland vs. America

From extravagant parades to green-dyed rivers, something about St. Patrick’s Day feels quintessentially American — despite its Irish heritage. That’s because many common St. Patrick’s Day traditions actually originated in America, evolving beyond their roots in the Emerald Isle in a few key ways.

relatively recently. Due to the religious nature of the holiday, pubs and bars closed down on March 17 until 1961. Additionally, the traditional meal of corned beef and cabbage is another American addition. In Ireland, pork and cabbage was actually more common, but impoverished Irish immigrants substituted less expensive beef for pork, and the tradition stuck. Even though the most widely observed St. Patrick’s Day celebrations originated in America, many of them have found their way back to Ireland. Starting in 1996, the St. Patrick’s Day Festival in Dublin now attracts over 1 million attendees with all the drinks and revelry that Americans love. You’d be hard pressed to find a green beer, though. In the hallowed birthplace of Guinness and whiskey, some traditions may be better left across the pond.

On March 17, Irish folks commemorate the death of St. Patrick, who brought Christianity to pagan Ireland during the late fourth and early fifth centuries. Historically, these religious origins make for a more somber observance of St. Patrick’s Day. Many Irish families go to church and eat a modest feast as the extent of their celebration. However, St. Patrick’s Day in America is not so much about venerating Ireland’s patron saint as it is about celebrating Irish heritage in a foreign land. When Catholic Irish immigrants first came to the United States, they faced persecution from a largely Protestant population. In response, Irish Americans began using March 17 as a

day to publicly declare and celebrate Irish heritage with parades and demonstrations.

The observation of St. Patrick’s Day grew in popularity in cities with large Irish populations, like Boston, New York, and Chicago. Then, in the booming post- World War II economy, various businesses aggressively marketed the holiday to Americans of all heritages. Thus, it became a day when anyone could celebrate Irish American heritage, or at least it gave everyone an excuse to drink like they believe the Irish do.

Ironically, imbibing was not a part of St. Patrick's Day celebrations in Ireland until


The Enthusiasm of Lynne Powers Helping Us Grow Successfully

On her days off, one might catch Lynne Powers enjoying the serenity of

be a passionate and dedicated person. For the past seven years, she has worked tirelessly as Russell & Lazarus’ marketing director, something she has always had an interest in. “Since I graduated from college, I’ve always been involved with marketing,” Lynne says. “I’ve worked for several companies and even started my own.” When she joined the Russell & Lazarus team in early 2012, it was to assist with their marketing, which at the time basically consisted of the yellow pages. Her holistic approach to marketing, which includes providing better communication with clients, has enabled the firm to exceed their goals nearly every year. More importantly it has put them in a position to provide a higher level of service. “Not to say there weren’t a few bumps we had to cross, but

Chris was ready for the challenge and took a vested interest in marketing."

Everyone is incredibly grateful for Lynne’s support, but Lynne insists that the growth has little to do with her. “It is a team effort for sure! The RussLaz team works diligently, every day, to provide the best service to our clients. It’s rewarding to be a part of a talented team, and I am grateful to everyone for continuing to support our marketing efforts.” Lynne and husband, Greg, will likely will be traveling more often, “Our two daughters, Kate and Caroline, recently moved to New York City. I would love to do NYC with them one day. I feel some pressure to make it happen.”

being home, lounging on the beach, and relaxing.

This is in great contrast to a few years ago, when Lynne was most likely to be found flying across oceans as she visited different countries around the world. One of the highlights of living abroad was doing marathons with her family and friends throughout Europe. As for her favorite place, she says, “For me, it really is Paris.”

Although her days of enthusiastic travel have slowed down, Lynne continues to

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