It’s St. Patrick’s Day!  We’re celebrating by sharing some fun St. Patty’s Day facts from around our favorite state.

The dueling St. Patrick’s Days –

O’Neill, Nebraska was decreed the “Irish Capitol of Nebraska” in 1969 by then Governor Norbert Tiemann.  The town is home to the world’s largest shamrock and has an annual festival with its own nationally renowned dance troupe.

O’Neill faces competition from neighboring town, Wisner, that also has an annual St. Patrick’s Day parade to celebrate the town’s Irish heritage.  This St. Patty’s Day will mark the 15th anniversary of the Wisner Heritage Museum.  Both celebrations are held the weekend after St. Patrick’s Day.

Large Irish Population –

In the city of Greeley, Nebraska more than 40% of residents still claim Irish heritage, which according to the Greeley Irish Festival website, makes it one of the most Irish cities in America.

Huskers vs. Notre Dame and the tail of two wives. –

Pre WWII, the University of Nebraska at Lincoln Cornhuskers actually shared a bitter rivalry with the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.  The two teams played each other nearly every year beginning in 1915 and continued through the famed “Four Horseman” era of Notre Dame’s history.  The Four Horsemen’s only loss came to Nebraska. 

The story goes that the rivalry officially ended when USC went looking for a national rival.  The wife of the USC head coach convinced the wife of then Notre Dame coach, Knute Rockne, to push for a USC rivalry since it included a bi-annual trip to sunny Los Angeles.

Does your town have a great way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day celebrations?  Let us know in the comments section.

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