UPC gives students a taste of Ireland

N-O-lUcky-U Colby Patterson
Cameron Stilson and Kyle Pierson help themselves to some shamrock cookies on Tuesday afternoon in the Union. Photo by Dane Goodwin.

Cameron Stilson and Kyle Pierson help themselves to some shamrock cookies on Tuesday afternoon in the Union. Photo by Dane Goodwin.

Sometimes even corned beef and cabbage is not as Irish as the Union Ballroom.

U students celebrated St. Patrick’s Day on Tuesday at the Union Programming Council’s O’Lucky U Irish festival.

The event was hosted by members of the Arts and Special Events Board and included Irish music, river dancers and free food — shepherd’s pie, shamrock cookies and green Jell-O.

Mary Neville, a junior in math and the director of the Special Events Board, said the event is a yearly celebration at the U designed to bring students together in a relaxed atmosphere.

“O’Lucky U is kind of a tradition that we do. It’s mostly just to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, but also to just have fun, enjoy spring and give students some free food,” Neville said.

Students competed in a scavenger hunt and jellybeans guesstimations. Traditional Irish music also filled the room, which was decorated with Irish flags and green shamrocks in an effort to transport students from the middle of Salt Lake City to the heart of Ireland.

“We’re always trying to make the Union a really communal place where students can just hang out and take a break in the day from classes,” Neville said.

Shreyas Choudhary, a freshman in computer science, said he found out about the event through UPC’s Instagram page. Choudhary said he enjoyed learning about the Irish culture.

“I’m an international student, so it was good to learn what they do on St. Patrick’s Day, how they celebrate it and everything,” Choudhary said.

Eric Bellan, a freshman in electrical engineering, said he enjoyed the food and was impressed with the dancing.

“For me, it was a nice break,” Bellan said. “It was nice to get a chance to relax and not think about classes.”

The budget for the event was slightly more than $1,500. Funds were primarily used for the food at the celebration.

Neville said UPC typically expects around 300 students at their events and estimated that close to that many students attended on Tuesday. Neville hopes students were able to unwind and enjoy the atmosphere.

“I would say it’s been a big success,” Neville said.

a.jose@chronicle.utah.edu