Organizing Saint Patrick’s Day as a Town Councillor – Mariane Vinhas
Organizing Saint Patrick’s Day as a Town Councillor
Being a town councillor is a great experience, especially as a young adult. I am twenty two years old and I have been a town councillor in Nanteuil-lès-Meaux – Seine et Marne – since 2014. This position in my town gives me a great experience but also comes with many responsibilities. I have to attend several meetings, represent my town during public events and help when receptions or events are organized. I am a member of many groups but the one I am most involved in is called “Vie Locale.” In addition, at the last meeting of this group, I suggested the idea of planning Saint Patrick’s Day next year. What is extraordinary is the steps I will need to take to organize this very special day, which gives me a lot of responsibilities.
Last September – like every year – the town organized its special “Tarte en Prunes” event, which is basically a big yard sale that also includes several performances such as shows and parades throughout the day. This very day brings together a lot of people from various towns, farther or closer as it is quite a famous day in the Seine et Marne region. At the time, the town council and the “Vie Locale” group had decided to organize a Before Tarte en Prunes event, meaning a great event to celebrate the twenty year anniversary of the event. We started to look for a famous band to come to Nanteuil-lès-Meaux to make this weekend memorable. After many calls, we found “Génération ABBA,” a band that agreed to give a concert before the special Tarte en Prunes event. It was extremely hard to organize because the band is internationally famous and was expensive. We also had to prepare the show room and the advertisements, which was also time consuming. In the end, it was a great experience, despite several issues – but each problem had its solution and everything went well. This perhaps gave me the desire to organize something different; I wanted something that reflects my creativity and I wanted to prove that I could make it.
When I joined the town council I already knew that I wanted to organize an event; therefore I managed to get into a group that would allow me to reach my goal. I waited two years to see and learn how to plan an event and how to actually make it happen. Moreover, what is very pleasant is that I am not the only young adult. Indeed, I have alongside me two colleagues of my age who are also my best friends outside the town council. Before announcing my wish to organize a special day – Saint Patrick’s Day – I first told them about it and they gave me some thoughts and suggestions. One of them is the president of the “Vie Locale” and he thus planned a meeting to discuss my idea. During this meeting I was a little stressed because the mayor was present. Even if I was sure about my plan, I was scared of what he could say about it. In the end, however, everyone including the mayor was glad that for once I took the floor and suggested something. Afterwards, we talked about it for an hour and the group gave me a lot of ideas and support.
The organization itself will be difficult but not impossible. As a novice, I will have to work harder but my colleagues will help me. This idea of planning Saint Patrick’s Day came to me as something obvious for I love this event: it’s a day when people get together and share a good moment. For this event, I had to find the right place in town and I have chosen the church square which is spacious enough. I had to think about what I wanted to put in there: a stand where beer would be sold – hopefully I’ll be able to get some local beer from Meaux the big town right near Nanteuil-lès-Meaux but also the special one from Ireland, the famous Guiness. For that to happen, my job will be to contact the factory that sells it. As it is located near my home, it will not be too difficult. Moreover, something to eat will be needed so I thought of some local shops in Nanteuil-lès-Meaux that could provide food. Indeed, there is a pizza joint and two bakeries, and once again – it will not be very hard to get in touch with them. As for entertainment, one of my colleagues, who is British, knows people – friends of hers – who are Irish folk dancers so I must talk to her for her to ask her friends to come. The most difficult thing will perhaps be advertising as I will need to gather as many people as possible, and this is what I’m the most worried about. My goal is to bring a lot of young people because I know that in my town there has never been such an event. This is important for me because, unfortunately, in my town there is no such of event or even a place for young people to gather – my goal is really to galvanize the town to bring out its youth.
Today, I still have a lot of time to plan this event; the first thing I will need to do is organize a second meeting to share ideas. Then, I will need to contact the local shops and of course to arrange a little show. I really hope that it will bring a great variety of so that everyone can share a nice moment – because in the end that is really what Saint Patrick’s Day is about: happiness.