General Industry

Tourism Ireland Reveals The Quirkiest ‘Greenings’ For St. Patrick’s Day 2018

By Dave Simpson
Tourism Ireland Reveals The Quirkiest ‘Greenings’ For St. Patrick’s Day 2018

What do a lion statue in Kenya made entirely from re-cycled flip flops, a giant blue whale skeleton in the Natural History Museum in London and a Game of Thrones-themed ice hotel in Lapland have in common? They are just some of the more unusual participants in Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative for St Patrick’s Day 2018.

Tourism Ireland’s annual Global Greening initiative has gone from strength to strength – from its beginning back in 2010, when just the Sydney Opera House and the Sky Tower in Auckland went green, to this year, which looks set to be the biggest Global Greening to date. Around 250 sites are already signed up to take part (and new sites are coming on board every day). From Rome to Rio and from London to Las Vegas, a host of buildings and sites around the world will be turning a shade of green over the coming days.

This year’s ‘Greenings’ include some quirky places and things, including:

  • a giant, 25.2 metre blue Whale skeleton, called ‘Hope’, suspended from the ceiling in the Natural History Museum in London;
  • a lion statue made from re-cycled flip flops which have been washed up on the coastline of Kenya;
  • the Lapland Hotels SnowVillage in Kittila, in northern Finland. Each year, the hotel is built to a new design and, this year, the entire hotel has a Game of Thrones theme – complete with a life-sized Iron Throne with swords, a scary Braavos Hall of Faces and a White Walker with glowing blue eyes;
  • a lighthouse on the frozen Lake Näsijärvi in the Tampere region of Finland;
  • the Wawa Goose – an 8.5 metre, metal goose statue, which stands along the TransCanada Highway outside the small town of Wawa in northern Ontario, Canada;
  • the Big Nickel – a giant replica of the Canadian 5-cent coin from 1951, standing nine metres tall in the grounds of the Dynamic Earth science museum in Sudbury, Canada;
  • two of Australia’s famous ‘Big Things’ – The Big Banana and The Big Kangaroo;
  • the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge – the soaring, $4 billion Hudson River crossing in New York, which opened in 2017; and
  • a carp statue, called ‘Fridolin’, in the town of Höchstadt an der Aisch, in Bavaria.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said, “This is the ninth year of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative and it’s bigger and better than ever this year, with some wonderful (and unusual!) new additions like a lion statue made from re-cycled flip flops in Kenya, the Wawa goose statue in Canada and a Blue Whale skeleton in the Natural History Museum in London. St Patrick’s Day traditionally marks the real start of the tourism season for us; our aim is to bring a smile to the faces of people around the world and to convey the message that Ireland offers the warmest of welcomes and great fun, as well as wonderful scenery and heritage.”