St. Patrick’s Day 2021: No large gatherings in Santa Maria due to COVID-19

Wednesday will be the day for “the wearin’ o’ the green” in honor of Ireland’s patron saint, but St. Patrick’s Day could be a day of gloom for those who look forward to quaffing green draft beer and downing discounted Guinness stout.

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a wet blanket over the celebrations traditionally held at local pubs and bars, which only can allow a limited number of patrons and must serve food along with the alcohol in order to remain open under Santa Barbara County’s current placement in the most-restrictive purple tier of the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

“We’re not planning anything because we can’t have large gatherings,” said a spokeswoman for Louis B’s in Santa Maria.

The manager of Elmer’s Dive Bar in Orcutt said he wasn’t doing anything to mark the day “because we’re closed.”

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About the only special efforts to mark the day will be restaurants like the Santa Maria Inn serving corned beef and cabbage for dinner, while some offer Reuben sandwiches for lunch.

A few retail businesses also planned to offer St. Patrick’s Day specials on select merchandise that may or may not have a connection to the Irish.

But the Santa Maria Public Library is providing residents age 18 and older with a St. Patrick’s Day craft kit that comes complete with a wooden shamrock pin, paint and glue along with a list of fiction and nonfiction books from Irish and Irish American authors.

The kits are available at the walk-up service window of the library at 421 S. McClelland St. through Saturday, but because the number of kits is limited, patrons must register for them in advance on the events calendar at www.cityofsantamaria.org/Library or by calling the library at 805-925-0994.

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Kits also will be available on a first-come, first-served basis at the Orcutt Branch Library at 175 S. Broadway St. in Old Town Orcutt.

Patrons are invited to post photos of their creations on the library’s Face book page or by tagging the library, Santamaria_publiclibrary, on Instagram, a library spokeswoman said.

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The city’s Recreation and Parks Department plans to conduct a Drive-in St. Patrick’s Day Bingo event Wednesday morning for residents age 50 and older who register in advance by calling 805-925-0951, ext. 2260.

A variety of noncash prizes will be awarded at the free event from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in the Elwin Mussell Senior Center parking lot at 510 E. Park Ave.

City officials are encouraging bingo players to show their Irish spirit by wearing green and decorating their cars with a St. Patrick’s Day theme.

Additional prizes will be awarded for best-dressed participants and the best-decorated car.

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