Archive for St. Patrick’s Day

March Madness

March can get a little crazy in the Durham Region.  When it comes to weather one might even say it is bi-polar. One day you are getting emergency weather winter storm warnings, with “polar” temperatures and record snowfalls. The next day the sun is shining and you are tempted to walk about in your shorts. We won’t mention any names (Mincom Jo). Let’s face it, we are Canadians — there was a lot of shorts-wearing going on.

If the weather didn’t have you confused, there is always the calamity that goes with changing our clocks to Daylight Saving Time. Some people will always be confused. Try to remember we “Spring” forward and “Fall” back. That’s right. We lost an hour of precious sleep on the 14th.

spring forwarc

There were “Snow Days” with the kids home from school, then “March Break” let them off school for an entire week: not a problem if you live in the Durham Region where there was a lot going on for kids and their families. Ontario Power sponsored a whole week of events including hiking, crafts, skating and swimming. Purple Woods Maple Syrup Festival launched March 12, 2016 just in time


Anna & Family At the Purple Woods Maple Syrup Festival

for the break and can still be enjoyed over the next couple of weekends. The Oshawa Airport hosted Girls Flying Girls, giving young girls one of the most exciting adventures of their life.  The Bowmanville Tackle Swap and Fishing Show was in full swing.  Both the Pickering Town Centre and the Oshawa Centre had activities for the kids and March break camps were offered through the City of Oshawa, City of Pickering, Town of Whitby, Town of Ajax, Municipality of Clarington, Township of Scugog, Township of Uxbridge or Township of Brock. This list goes on.

Things are always a little whacky on the 17th. The “Wearin’ of the Green” can make for some strange outfits on St. Patrick’s Day. You can pretty much find anything and everything coloured green…your food, your drinks, buildings and even bodies of water. One thing we don’t colour green is our Anna’s (Stinson) mouthwatering homemade shortbread. You can’t get more Irish than Anna and her shortbread. We are also fortunate that we have the number one ranked Irish restaurant in all of Ontario here in the Durham Region. The Snug, in Newcastle, brings authentic Irish fare right to your table. We recommend you save room for the Sticky Toffee Pudding.


The Snug

Walsh’s The Snug In Newcastle, ON

The kids are back in school for a short week. This weekend is Easter weekend giving them the day off on Good Friday. There will be an Easter Parade in Pickering and an Easter Egg Hunt in Ajax, both on Saturday. The Oshawa Airport is hosting an Easter Egg-stravaganza on Sunday.

Easter Parade In Pickering

Easter Parade In Pickering

In case we haven’t mentioned it, we also officially welcomed the March Equinox whose dual identity is called Spring, on Sunday, March 20th, 2016.  Yes, Spring has definitely sprung. Enjoy it folks!



The Wearin’ Of The Green

It is said that March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day, is the one day a year when everyone is Irish. Celebrations can be found far and wide with everyone participating in the wearin’ of the green, adorned by four leaf clovers and drinking green beer.

The office of the Stacee-Free Team isn’t any different. They like to celebrate. In fact this year they started a little early. Let’s call it a warm up to St. Patrick’s Day. On February 25th some team members found themselves at the Ed Mirvish Theatre enjoying the Irish dancers in “Heartbeat of Home”.

Anna • Mincom Jo • Judy Getting into the spirit of St. Patrick's Day

Anna • Mincom Jo • Judy
Getting into the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day

Our very own Irish lass, Anna Stinson, who hails from the Emerald Isle gives us the occasional reality check when it comes to our celebrations. She also treats us to some lovely homemade Irish shortbread that will melt in your mouth. 

“There is a lot of folklore surrounding St. Patrick’s Day. You will hear about snakes, green beer and leprechauns. I wouldn’t say there were no snakes. There may have been a few snakes but St. Patrick is credited with introducing Christianity to Ireland.  No self-respecting Irish person would ever drink green beer and as far as the wee folk go, well…I think I will let you decide as I wouldn’t want to interfere with anyone’s dream of a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.”

It has become an office tradition to have lunch at one of the Irish Pubs in the Durham Region. There are lots to choose from but The Irish Times in Pickering has been the St. Patrick’s Day destination the past few years. What will our Anna order from the Irish fare available?

“I will order pasties which are minced beef & potatoes made into a ‘pattie’ and champ which is mashed potatoes and green onions or I might have shepherds pie or steak and kidney pie.”

Irish Times

As for the wearin’ of the green, a simple Shamrock will do. Some will go all out wearing green from head to toe. There are plenty of places in the area to find something to green yourself up. Even the local Walmart has a pretty impressive supply.


Walmart “Greenery”

Whether you are Irish or just Irish for the day, have some fun. We shall leave you with a wee Irish blessing…

“May the luck of the Irish be always at hand,

And good friends always near you.

May each and every coming day

Bring some special joy to cheer you.”