Huge crowds gathered inside a church in St. Patrick, Missouri one of the few places in the country named after the saint. Saturday's celebration is also one of the biggest fundraisers for the church.
Maxine Uhlmeyer is from St. Patrick, MO, and has come to Shrine of St. Patrick celebration every year of her life.
"I just hope everyone has a good day and enjoys the green," Uhlmeyer said.
Palmyra Resident Jack O'Heren has come to the church to celebrate for over 20 years, seeing the holiday as the perfect way to celebrate his Irish heritage.
"Each year it's been more and more exciting," O'Heren said. "New, different things offered and so forth. Great way to look at Patty's Day."
Kristin Roth, pastoral administrator at the Shrine of St. Patrick, said a few pipes burst in the church recently, making this year's fundraiser especially important.
"Our congregation is just over 70 households, so it takes a lot of money to make a big place like this go with heating, cooling, and upkeep."
But Roth said the most important thing is that families throughout the country are reuniting in one place.
"It's wonderful to have an occasion to spread good news, and that's what St. Patrick's Day is all about, spreading good news."
Here's more information about the Shrine of St. Patrick taken from the church's website:
St. Patrick, Missouri is a small village located in the southeast part of Jackson Town ship in Clark County, Missouri. Irish Catholics settled it, but all nationalities and religions are represented here. The Catholic religion remains predominant.
The first settlers came to Clark County, Missouri, in 1829 and settled near the present town of St. Francisville. This history of St. Patrick dates back almost that far.
The first Saint Patrick Church was built of logs at an unknown location in North Santa Fe (now Saint Patrick) in 1834 at a cost of about $75.00. The Shrine of Saint Patrick was built in 1956 and sits on what remains of the original 80 acres purchased for the Church in 1838.
The Shrine of Saint Patrick is fashioned after the Saint Patrick's Memorial Church of Four Masters in Donegal, Ireland. The Shrine is Celtic in design; semi-circular recessed doorways, central rose window, Celtic crosses, and a round bell tower that is native to Ireland.