Black History Month is a time to reflect on the past and look ahead to the future. It’s also a time to share and learn about Black stories and history. This year, we highlighted the history of our county seat, Pontiac, which has a legacy of a strong pioneering Black community, dating back to the 1800’s.Continue reading
Hear ye, hear ye! The Michigan Renaissance Festival (Ren Fest) is returning once again to Holly, Michigan. Back for the 39th year, the Ren Fest is known for being one of Oakland County’s most unique annual festivals. Riveting jousts, colorful costumes, and delicious turkey legs are just a few things you can look forward to. The festival celebrates the end of medieval times in a fantasy world setting and is open weekends and Labor Day, beginning August 18th through September 30th. Go back in time and experience the magic of the Renaissance!
No matter your heritage, you can always join in on the fun of being “a little Irish” on St. Patrick’s Day. On March 17th, the greenest day of the year, everyone is invited to enjoy special foods, music, parades, dances, and of course, all things green!
Take a look at our list of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in and around Oakland County for events leading up to and beyond this festive day. If you’re looking for a taproom to try an Irish or local brew, be sure to check out our Brewed Local List too. Continue reading
WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY
The morning was perfect for a winter exploration. Fresh snow fell much of the night and continued well into dawn. My trailhead greeting party consisted of cascades of accumulated snow sliding off the boughs of white pine trees, and what sounded like the excited warning chatter of an eastern fox squirrel. I stopped to assess the situation.
Squirrels don’t just sit on tree branches talking to themselves. I decided the squirrel’s concern was the motionless Cooper’s Hawk that I noted seconds earlier perched on a nearby tree. I trudged forward, the hawk flew off, and the squirrel scampered down about ten feet, leapt over to another branch and continued to watch me closely. Perhaps the chatter was a welcoming greeting for me after all. I chattered back and we shared pleasantries for a few moments.
St. Patrick’s Day may not be until March 17th, but communities in and around Oakland County are already gearing up for the festivities. From live music, dances, and theatrical productions – to hearty meals, races, and parades – there’s a St. Patrick’s Day event for everyone! So whether or not you trace your ancestry back to the emerald isle, remember that everyone’s a little Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.
Use our list of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in and around Oakland County to make the most out of this special day!
Who was St. Patrick?
- St. Patrick was originally born in England, and was kidnapped by Irish pirates where he was sold into slavery. After his escape from bondage he became a missionary in Ireland.
- A hero in Ireland, there are 60 churches and cathedrals named “St. Patrick’s,” with the most famous being in Dublin.
- The wearing of green is associated with the green hills and shamrocks of the Emerald Isle, although traditionally the color blue was associated with St. Patrick.
- The first St. Patrick’s Day Parade was held in New York, but the first observance of the day was in 1737 by the Charitable Irish Society of Boston.
- In 1996 the first St. Patrick’s Day Festival was held in Ireland as a three-day event, that has since grown to a five day festival that draws roughly 1 million visitors to the area.
St. Patrick’s Day in Michigan
In Michigan, the largest wave of Irish immigrants came in 1815 when one million Irish Catholics settled in the Detroit area. Today’s festivities commemorate St. Patrick with parades and merrymaking, celebrating Irish heritage in Southeast Michigan and the contributions they made to the American cultural landscape.
Think your family can be traced back to the early Irish settlers of the area? Find a record of your ancestors at the Archives of Michigan to discover more about your family history.