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The dry event includes the same entertainment, food, and revelry one would see at any St. Patrick’s Day celebration, just without the booze. There’s now a Sober St. Patrick’s Day event in New York, Cleveland, Richmond, Casper, Wyo., and Belfast, Northern Ireland.

“I’ve heard from a lot of people, particularly people who can’t come to the party, that enough is enough,” Mr. Reilly said. “It’s an interesting tipping point. People are beginning to stand up, saying that’s not who we are.”

Mr. Freeman said he too has seen more of an interest in the Irish culture.

“It really seemed to start in the 1970s, 1980s, I don’t know why, but there was a thirst, a quest to discover more authentic Christianity,” Mr. Freeman said. “It was an interest in a more spiritual rather than a ritualistic type of Christianity, and people have seen Celtic Christianity representing this.”

Ms. Bridges, an expert in theological and bible studies, was not surprised.

Advocates for a more traditional approach said while it might take time to transition to a more traditional celebration, no matter the party, it’s important to remember the popular adage: On St. Patrick’s Day, everyone is Irish.

“Irish Americans are celebrating their heritage, but for the rest of America, it’s a celebration of what the promise of this country is,” Mr. Cosgrove said. “A group came here with absolutely nothing, from a country that had famine, where religion was illegal. They came here and could make it. All Americans should be proud of that part of the story.”