As another holiday approaches, many of us are thinking about anything but the meaning of the holiday. Mostly, people are concerned with two things: Do we get a day off, and what bar are we going to hit?

St. Patrick’s Day is no different — and it, like an increasing number of holiday eves and days, is one of the biggest drinking nights of the year.

While we don’t get a day off for it, surely many will be cutting out of work early to get in on the corned beef and cabbage and green beer specials.

As we all get set to don our best green outfits and become Irish for the day, several local hosts are reminding us to think as we party.

“There’s a misnomer that all it is is a big drinking weekend,” said Patrick Kerins, publicity director for the Niagara Falls chapter of the Ancient Order of the Hibernians St. Patrick’s Day event. Kerins reminds us the holiday is to mark the accomplishments of a great man, and that it is a religious day. This, no doubt, gets lost among the flashing shamrocs worn by many who have no Irish blood in them. We commend the Hibernians for their work to educate the masses who seem more interested in green Jello shots than what the day really means.

We realize alcohol is a large part of the celebration, and we’re glad the owners of Dwyer’s in North Tonawanda are being realistic about their celebration. The bar is providing buses to and from the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Buffalo to eliminate the urge to drink and drive. While it will not stop all instances, it’s encouraging to see one of our local businesses taking such responsibility during one of its busiest weekends. Others should do the same.

We also encourage all partygoers to follow suit by hailing a cab or designating a driver before the festivities begin. You’ll be in more than a wee bit of trouble and out a whole lot of green otherwise.

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