Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Las Vegas Featured in the Irish Times

The Welcome to Las Vegas Sign is green for St. Patrick’s Day. Image Source: David Becker/Las Vegas Review Journal

Happy St. Patrick’s Day Las Vegas!

It’s good to know not everything that happens in Vegas has to stay in Vegas.This year, as with previous years, the 89 lightbulbs of the Welcome to Las Vegas sign were lit green to honor St. Patrick’s Day. The sign’s nod to St. Patrick’s Day was celebrated by visitors, locals and newscasters and was featured in The Irish Times

Activities at the sign included a performance by dancers from the Sharon Lynn Celtic Crown School, bagpiper music and visits from Vegas showgirls in green. Their performance was captured on video here, source: Video: Fionn Davenport. Music: Jimmy Fontanez.

Happy St. Patricks Day at The Welcome to Las Vegas Sign. Image Source: Glenn Pinkerton/Las Vegas News Bureau.
St. Patricks Day at The Welcome to Las Vegas Sign. Image Source: Glenn Pinkerton/Las Vegas News Bureau.
Happy St Patrick's Day in Las Vegas, Dancers from the Sharon Lynn Celtic Crown School Performing.
Dancers from the Sharon Lynn Celtic Crown School performing at the Welcome to Las Vegas Sign. Image source: David Becker/Las Vegas Review Journal

Did You Know About Betty Willis? 

The Welcome to Las Vegas sign was installed in 1959 by Western Neon. It was designed by Bette Willis, a talented woman born in Las Vegas in 1923 and worked as a graphic designer at Western Neon. Did you know the sign was designed in the Googie architecture style? The fantastic futuristic atomic age look and feel of the Googie design, at the core of pop culture  of Mid Century Modern in the 50s and 60s, developed after World War II.

Southern Nevada Sons and Daughters of Erin

In 1966 the Southern Nevada Sons and Daughters of Erin was founded to honor and promote Irish/American heritage in Southern Nevada.  They organize and host the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Henderson, Nevada and hosted the 49th St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 17th 2015. Be sure to mark the 50th anniversary of the parade next year.

Irish Population in Las Vegas

A sampling of the Irish population in a few areas of Nevada is listed below. Population and percentages are taken from ZipAtlas.com.

Location Total Population % Irish
Las Vegas 1,030,452 9.25%
Henderson 176,894 11.77%
Reno 225,091 11.78%
Laughlin 7,095 13.77%
Mountain City 72 23.45%
Carson City 58,490 12.15%

Safety First

Next time you’re in Las Vegas for St. Patrick’s Day or for any other holiday that involves dressing up in celebration, keep an eye out for costumed pedestrians in crosswalks when you’re driving. If you don’t stop, you may just get ticketed.

In LA Times piece, “Las Vegas pedestrians are gambling with their lives“, Tom Rainey, who participated in a police operation to monitor motorist behavior at crosswalks, had this to say after very few drivers stopped on St. Patrick’s Day:

“They didn’t stop because they didn’t see me,” Rainey says. “If you can’t see a man in green, how can you see a person in regular clothes?”

He has a point! Until next year!

Happy St Patrick's Day in Las Vegas, not even a leprechaun caught a break when trying to cross the road.
Not even a leprechaun could catch a break on St. Patrick’s Day when trying to cross the road. Tom Rainey pictured. Image Source: John M. Glionna / Los Angeles Times