The history of St. Patrick's Day

    The History of St. Patrick's Day explained:

    How did such a fun day of green wearing, pinching, corned beef and cabbage eating celebration begin? Here's what we've gathered with a little bit of help from Wikipedia:


    Little is known of Patrick's early life, except that he was born in Roman Britain in the fourth century, into a wealthy Romano-British family. His father was a deacon and his grandfather was a priest in the Christian church. At the age of sixteen, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken captive to Ireland as a slave. Apparently, he was held somewhere on the west coast of Ireland, possibly Mayo, but the exact location is unknown. According to his Confession, he was told by God in a dream to flee from captivity to the coast, where he would board a ship and return to Britain. Upon returning, he quickly joined the Church in Auxerre in Gaul and studied to be a priest.

    According to legend, Saint Patrick used the three-leaved shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to Irish pagans.

    In 432, he said that he was called back again to Ireland, though as a bishop, to Christianise the Irish from their native polytheism. According to Irish folklore, one of his teaching methods included using the shamrock to explain the Christian doctrine of the Trinity to the Irish people. After nearly thirty years of evangelism, he died on 17 March 461, and according to tradition, was buried at Downpatrick. Although there were other more successful missions to Ireland from Rome, Patrick endured as the principal champion of Irish Christianity and is held in esteem in the Irish church.

    Celebration and traditions

    Wearing of the green

    Originally, the colour associated with Saint Patrick was blue. Over the years the colour green and its association with Saint Patrick's Day grew. Green ribbons and shamrocks were worn in celebration of St Patrick's Day as early as the 17th century. Saint Patrick is said to have used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish, and the ubiquitous wearing and display of shamrocks and shamrock-inspired designs has become a feature of the day. In the 1798 rebellion, to make a political statement, Irish soldiers wore full green uniforms on 17 March in hopes of catching public attention. The phrase "the wearing of the green", meaning to wear a shamrock on one's clothing, derives from a song of the same name.

    Celebrations by region


    A St Patrick's Day religious procession in Downpatrick, 2010

    Saint Patrick's feast day, as a kind of national day, was already being celebrated by the Irish in Europe in the ninth and tenth centuries. In later times, he became more and more widely known as the patron of Ireland.Saint Patrick's feast day was finally placed on the universal liturgical calendar in the Catholic Church due to the influence of Waterford-born Franciscan scholar Luke Wadding in the early 1600s. Saint Patrick's Day thus became a holy day of obligation for Roman Catholics in Ireland. It is also a feast day in the Church of Ireland. The church calendar avoids the observance of saints' feasts during certain solemnities, moving the saint's day to a time outside those periods. Saint Patrick's Day is occasionally affected by this requirement, when 17 March falls during Holy Week. This happened in 1940, when Saint Patrick's Day was observed on 3 April in order to avoid it coinciding with Palm Sunday, and again in 2008, where it was officially observed on 14 March. Saint Patrick's Day will not fall within Holy Week again until 2160. However, the secular celebration is always held on 17 March.

    In 1903, Saint Patrick's Day became an official public holiday in Ireland. This was thanks to the Bank Holiday (Ireland) Act 1903, an act of the United Kingdom Parliament introduced by Irish Member of Parliament James O'Mara. O'Mara later introduced the law that required that pubs and bars be closed on 17 March after drinking got out of hand, a provision that was repealed in the 1970s. The first Saint Patrick's Day parade held in the Irish Free State was held in Dublin in 1931 and was reviewed by the then Minister of Defence Desmond Fitzgerald.

    In the mid-1990s the government of the Republic of Ireland began a campaign to use Saint Patrick's Day to showcase Ireland and its culture. The government set up a group called St Patrick's Festival, with the aims:

    Traditional St Patrick's Day badges from the early 20th century, photographed at the Museum of Country Life in County Mayo
    • To offer a national festival that ranks amongst all of the greatest celebration in the world
    • To create energy and excitement throughout Ireland via innovation, creativity, grassroots involvement, and marketing activity
    • To provide the opportunity and motivation for people of Irish descent (and those who sometimes wish they were Irish) to attend and join in the imaginative and expressive celebrations
    • To project, internationally, an accurate image of Ireland as a creative, professional and sophisticated country with wide appeal.
     Saint Patrick's Day parade in Dublin

    The first Saint Patrick's Festival was held on 17 March 1996. In 1997, it became a three-day event, and by 2000 it was a four-day event. By 2006, the festival was five days long; more than 675,000 people attended the 2009 parade. Overall 2009's five-day festival saw close to 1 million visitors, who took part in festivities that included concerts, outdoor theatre performances, and fireworks. Skyfest forms the centrepiece of the festival.

    The topic of the 2004 Saint Patrick's Symposium was "Talking Irish", during which the nature of Irish identity, economic success, and the future were discussed. Since 1996, there has been a greater emphasis on celebrating and projecting a fluid and inclusive notion of "Irishness" rather than an identity based around traditional religious or ethnic allegiance. The week around Saint Patrick's Day usually involves Irish language speakers using more Irish during Seachtain na Gaeilge ("Irish Language Week").

    As well as Dublin, many other cities, towns, and villages in Ireland hold their own parades and festivals, including Cork, Belfast, Derry, Galway, Kilkenny, Limerick, and Waterford.

    Everyone's Irish on 17 March

    The biggest celebrations outside Dublin are in Downpatrick, County Down, where Saint Patrick is rumoured to be buried. In 2004, according to Down District Council, the week-long Saint Patrick's Festival had more than 2,000 participants and 82 floats, bands, and performers and was watched by more than 30,000 people.

    The shortest St Patrick's Day parade in the world takes place in Dripsey, Cork. The parade lasts just 100 yards and travels between the village's two pubs.

    Christian leaders in Ireland have expressed concern about the secularisation of St Patrick's Day. In The Word magazine's March 2007 issue, Fr. Vincent Twomey wrote, "It is time to reclaim St Patrick's Day as a church festival." He questioned the need for "mindless alcohol-fuelled revelry" and concluded that "it is time to bring the piety and the fun together.


    Did you know there are only 5 oyster species farmed in the US

    Oysters have once again become the bivalve of the hour, the defining protein of the age, expressing everything we want life and food to be right now. Luxurious but unpretentious, decadent but healthful, oysters are the must-order—from the basis of le grand plateau de fruits de mer at a New York institution like Balthazar to seafood-centric newbies like The Ordinary in Charleston, South Carolina. Oysters are even quasi-wild and sustainable, not to mention downright good for the oceans. There’s something sweetly deceptive about their simplicity, too.

    Five oyster species are farmed in the U.S. That’s all.

    A handful of oyster farms still have the clean, shallow, brackish waters required for local species to spawn wild without human help, accounting for about 5 percent of all market oysters. But the vast majority of American growers buy seed from one of dozens of hatcheries on both coasts. Some are tiny, like the hatchery Jones operates out of an old shipping container, and some are much bigger, like Bay Shellfish Company in Florida.

    All hatchery workers start the process like Jones does, bringing male and female oysters together in tanks, under conditions that induce them to spawn, and then nursing millions, or even billions, of larvae to a viable size that set to become “seed.” That seed—microscopic but adult-looking oysters—gets shipped to farmers who raise and brand it either with a geographical designation like Bluepoint or Wellfleet, or with a farm-specific trade name like Sweetwater, from California’s Hog Island Oyster Company.


    Oysters on the half shell

    The one-of-a-kind Totten Inlet C. virginica oyster is an East Coast species raised in Puget Sound.


    farming oysters

    The science behind oysters: 4th-gen shellfish farmer Paul Taylor and daughter Brittany inspect the Taylor Shellfish oysterseed nursery in Shelton, oysters are harvested

    Nick Jones,  Jones Family Farms, harvesting shellfish in Shoal Bay on Lopez Island.

     After “aging” for two years, the shells are used to give oyster larvae a place to set and beome seed. Farmers plant this seed in their own waters and then mostly leave it alone, allowing it to feed on natural phytoplankton. Most of the oyster half shells that we slurp down with cold Sancerre—or iced vodka shots, as the case may be—were harvested between one and two years of age, having acquired a taste and texture unique to where they matured.


    This is the so-called merroir effect, analogous to terroir in winemaking: Local maritime conditions, including salinity, local phytoplankton species, and tidal flow, give oysters from

    each and every farm and region a distinctive character. After all, East Coast oysters like Malpeque (Prince Edward Island), Bluepoint (Connecticut and Long Island, New York), Wellfleet (Massachusetts), Rappahannock (Virginia), and Apalachicola (Florida) are all the same C. virginica species, only raised in different taste-defining localeThere was a time, of course—and not so long ago—when oystermen simply waded into the vast, clean tidal flats of great waters like the Long Island Sound and the Chesapeake and San Francisco bays, plucking up millions of wild oysters. The estuary of the lower Hudson River alone once had 350 square miles of wild-spawning C. virginica oyster beds, making preindustrial New York City the greatest oyster-consuming city of all time. But pollution, landfill, and overharvesting killed New York’s last wild beds by 1927. Out West, oyster-loving Gold Rush prospectors did the same, devouring all the native Olympia oysters first in San Francisco Bay and then clear up the coast to Washington, thanks to schooners that raked coves and then sailed quickly south. Inside Puget Sound, pulp mill pollution killed off almost all of the Olympia oysters until 1957, when the mills closed, and local waters rebounded. 

    -excerpt from article "Oysterland: A Journey to the Heart of Bivalve Country" by Daniel Duane 2/18/14. See link for full article : How oysters are farmed and processed



    SKOB Supports the Local Community

    SKOB underwent another major milestone this year! We took down all the $1 bills from the famous SKOB walls, windows, rafters, ceiling fans, gutters, and every other nook and cranny where there were $1 bills hung by our amazing guests. We here at Siesta Key Oyster Bar are very thankful for the opportunities we have been given to help the local community and hope that you are as proud as we are!  20140129 183552

    In total, we counted over $9,000!!  We took down and donated $7600 of these $1 bills to 4 very special charities which the 4 managers at SKOB were given the opportunity to choose. Here is a little snippet from each manager telling why they chose each charity and a little bit about these charities.


    Mychael chose The Cat Depot-  Because it's a local, nonprofit, no kill, free roaming cat rescue, adoption, education and resource center. It was started by 5 Sarasota residents in 2003 and has grown in the last 10 years with at least 125 cats residing at the Depot per day. They have worked with local animal welfare groups to increase adoptions and decrease euthanasia.
    Last year Cat Depot rescued over 900 homeless cats and placed 846 cats and kittens into loving homes. 550 cats and kittens were sterilized in-house.
     They're goal in 2014 is to find homes for 1,000 homeless cats and kittens. 20140129 183504

    I find cats to be amazing creatures with the capacity for love, compassion and loyalty, Cats are purrfect friends for children with autism, helping to connect with them on a level that sometimes even their family members can't. Cats help reduce stress and increase healing.
     I have been a cat lover all my life and I love what the Cat Depot does for our community.


    Chef Douglas chose the Sarasota High Swim Team, because they're a small section of the athletics department that is in need of equipment upgrades and transportation help. I feel athletics and  20140129 183702team activities are character building for young adults. 


    Justin chose the The YMCA Foundation of Sarasota is a 501 (3) (c) non profit direct service organization (DSO) and operates as the fundraising and endowment manager for the Sarasota Family YMCA. The organization solicits gifts that will be used to create a brighter future for individuals and families in our community. 

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    Fundraising activities include an annual campaign, capital campaigns, major gifts, bequests and estate sales. Donations may be made in liquid (cash, securities, etc.) or non-liquid (real estate, life insurance, etc.) form. They may be made for today or for tomorrow.



    Angela chose SPARCC  which stands for 'safe place and rape crisis center' I chose it because it's local to our area rather than a huge corporation, their overhead is only 7-8%, 20140129 183620and they use the funds for education to prevent rape/abuse, not just to put a band-aid on a bleeding wound. They grow continually and are expanding every year, even to the point ofstarting a kennel to house pets so they don't have to be left behind when a person escapes a bad situation. They are in downtown Sarasota and also operate a thrift shop.



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    Sarasota, FL is named #1 on the list of 10 Places you'll want to visit right now!


    10 Places In The U.S. You’ll Want To Visit Right Now

    From amber waves of grain to purple mountains majesty, if you haven’t seen these 10 U.S. gems, you’re missing out. Although, with so many daily nonstop flights out of NYC, you’ll see the fruited plains quicker than you’ll catch a cab on a rainy day.


    Sarasota, FL was named #1 on this list by JetBlue on Buzzfeed in 2013! Just another accolade to add to the list of incredible honors that Sarasota and Siesta Key have received in the past years. Come and see what all the buzz is about!

    Sarasota has a surprising art scene. There are tons of art galleries as well as an opera house. You can also rent a boat to go parasailing and scuba diving cheaply, something that is obviously rare for most vacationers.

    See the full list at: ten placesin the us you'll want to visit right now

    siesta key beach lifeguard stand

    SKOB Supports the Local Community


    20140129 183541We took down all the dollars at SKOB for renovations and updates to the building.  We saved a bunch, but we also sent $7600 to the bank! 

    Guess what we did with the money? SKOB let the 4 managers choose a local charity to give the money to! We gave $1900 to Sarasota High School, the YMCA of Sarasota, the Safe Place & Rape Crisis Center, and the Cat Depot.

    We'd like to thank all of our incredible guests for their amazing contributions to making this such a success! We hope to add more $1 and make a new start to the SKOB $1 hanging tradition!

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    Small Business Saturday Nov 30th

    Shop Small SaturdaySmall Business Saturday is a day dedicated to supporting small businesses across the country.
    Founded by American Express in 2010, this day is celebrated every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
    This year, Small Business Saturday is on November 30th.


    As a consumer, you are a key part in hel
    ping small businesses thrive. By shopping or dining at a small
    business throughout the year, you’re showing your support for all the small businesses in your
    neighborhood and reinvesting in the community you call home.
    Small Businesses Saturday is the day that consumers like you go out and celebrate small businesses in
    force. This helps local entrepreneurs offer more jobs, which in turn invigorates the economy. Go out and
    support your favorite small business and search for savings on unique merchandise while experiencing
    spectacular service–a cornerstone of many small businesses.


    SKOB is a participant in Small Business Saturday and we encourage you to shop small and support local! Siesta Key has the local, smalltown feel and we hope to keep it that way!

    Siesta Key Oyster Bar

    5238 Ocean Blvd

    Siesta Key, FL 34242


    Siesta Key Oyster Bar adds new menu items to enhance your seafood experience!

    Siesta Key Oyster Bar likes to keep things fresh and exciting for our favorite customers! To do this, we use only the freshest ingredients and keep the menu fresh and new to always have something mouth-watering for you to try!

    new menu items


      Chef Douglas has now prepared for us a Mahalo pizza with hawaiian flair and crispy crust to delight your tastebuds.



    new menu items



      He has also made a new addition to the sandwich menu with a teriyaki glazed chicken breast topped with fresh avocado, called the Maui Wowie.




    new menu items

      The third and limited time-item on the menu is the shrimp and avocado ceviche. This is an in-house family favorite. We can't wait to share it with you!



    Come in today!

    5238 Ocean Blvd

    Siesta Key, FL 34242

    TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence

    Honored as a Top Performing Restaurant as Reviewed by Travelers on the World’s Largest Travel Site2013 Certificate of Excellence

    Siesta Key, FL – 27, June, 2013 Siesta Key Oyster Bar, to locals “SKOB”, announces that it has received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence award. The accolade, which honors hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Only the top-performing 10 percent of businesses listed on TripAdvisor receive this prestigious award.

    To qualify for a Certificate of Excellence, businesses must maintain an overall rating of four or higher, out of a possible five, as reviewed by travelers on TripAdvisor, and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months. Additional criteria include the volume of reviews received within the last 12 months.

    “SKOB is pleased to receive a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence,” said Beth Owen-Cipielewski, Owner at Siesta Key Oyster Bar. “We strive to offer our customers a memorable experience, and this accolade is evidence that our hard work is translating into positive reviews on TripAdvisor.”

    “TripAdvisor is delighted to celebrate the success of businesses around the globe, from Sydney to Chicago, Sao Paulo to Rome, which are consistently offering TripAdvisor travelers a great customer experience,” said Alison Copus, Vice President of Marketing for TripAdvisor for Business. “The Certificate of Excellence award provides top performing establishments around the world the recognition they deserve, based on feedback from those who matter most – their customers.”

    Woodford Reserve

    woodford reserveThe Woodford Reserve distillery is the key to creating Craft Bourbon. Their distillery is found in Versailles, Kentucky, hidden away in the heart of the Bluegrass Region. The distillery itself is the oldest and smallest working bourbon distillery and a National Historic Landmark. Between its rich history and the Craft Bourbon distilled there today, it has quite a story to tell.

    Joining the ranks of other great Bourbons, Knob Creek and Makers Mark, now you can taste Woodford Reserve yourself at SKOB! And, it was named official Bourbon of the 2012 Kentucky Derby.


    SKOB Cares

    gladiatorSKOB has now raised over $23,000 in the 9 years we have been having "Beer Garden's" during Siesta Fiesta's Closed Street Event. We take the best of an event that shuts us off from the world and invite others to experience more of SKOB as we move the tables outside, and have an activities to support a heartwarming cause.

    We have donated to Venice High School Football, Easter Seals, A liver transplant victim, East Bay Little League, A 6 month old baby girl who needed a heart value operation, and this years Cancer event for David Rizzo. We take philanthropy very passionately and are honored to help our friends.

    Big G's Crustacean
    Happy Hour
    3 - 6 pm EVERYDAY!
    Dozen Oysters on the Half Shell
    Lousiana Crawfish

    SKOB's Hours

    Monday - Thursday
    11am - 12 Midnight

    Friday & Saturday
    11am - 2am

    9am - 12 Noon Breakfast
    11:30am - 12 Midnight

    Excellence Badge 2013