Kiss Me, I’m Irish…

…except that actually, no, I’m not.  I have a (very) small amount of English blood, and perhaps just a wee drop of Scotch.  And a “wee drop of Scotch” may be one of the treats in store for you when you attend the second annual “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” event at the Sumter County Gallery of Art  on Saturday, March 17, 2012.  As well as cocktails in the courtyard, this great Saint Patrick’s Day party will feature live music by the J. Sanford Band and heavy hors d’ouvres prepared by Meri Wyn Hudson, along with a whiskey tasting.  There will also be a silent auction.

Don’t know how to jig?  That’s okay—the music will also include R&B, rock, blues and beach.  As for the food, I don’t know exactly what’s on the menu, but I’m pretty sure that haggis is a Scottish dish, so don’t worry about it!

The fun takes place in a beautiful setting featuring “Shimmer,” the current exhibit by international tapestry artist Jon Eric Riis, who has exhibited his works throughout Europe and Asia.  These works in metallic and silk threads are as detailed as paintings, and truly glorious to behold.

Now, who was Saint Patrick, and where does the expression “Kiss me, I’m Irish” come from?  The first one is easy.  Patrick was the Irish saint who drove the snakes out of Eire, right?  Actually, he was probably Welsh, but he was a real person and March 17, his feast day, is a centuries-old celebration in Ireland and for those of Irish descent.  And as the saying goes, “On Saint Patrick’s Day, everyone is Irish.”    

As to the second question, the Irish have a long tradition of “kissing the Blarney stone” set in Blarney Castle near Cork, Ireland in order to gain the gift of eloquence.  Getting to the Blarney Stone requires a passport and plane fare to Ireland, as well as amazing contortions once one has reached the actual parapet.  So, the next best thing is said to be kissing an Irishman (or woman).  Just make sure the recipient is okay with it first!

“Kiss Me, I’m Irish” takes place at the Sumter County Gallery of Art, 200 Hasel Street from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.  Tickets are $25 for Gallery members and $30 for non-Gallery members, and are available at the Gallery.  For more information, call (803) 775-0543.  The event is sponsored by Thompson Turner Construction, Sterling House, Jones Chevrolet Cadillac, Julie & Robby Coker and Colonial Family Practice.

And be sure to wear something green…because otherwise, you still might get kissed, but you will most certainly be pinched.  Here’s wishing you the luck o’ the Irish!

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