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St. Patrick’s Day
Celebrate Irish culture around Pinellas
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Preparations are under way all around Pinellas to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day Sunday, March 17.
Leaping leprechauns, St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner!

The Irish feast day commemorating the patron saint of Ireland is celebrated worldwide – and the Tampa Bay area is no exception. Preparations are under way all around Pinellas to celebrate the holiday on Sunday, March 17.

Area residents will soon be downing pints of Guinness while singing along to Irish drinking tunes like “Whiskey in the Jar” and “The Wild Rover.” The aroma of corned beef and cabbage will waft from pub kitchens and everyone will be digging through their closets trying to find green apparel.

Tampa Bay area venues will mark the occasion with a sampling of Irish and Celtic performers.

Celtic Crossroads will perform Sunday, March 10, 2 p.m., at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. Tickets start at $18. Call 791-7400 or visit www.rutheckerdhall.com. PBS favorites, the lads and lasses of western Ireland’s most talented export will return to share energetic Celtic music with raucous delight, redefining Celtic music on the world stage.

As part of the Celebrity Showcase Series, Cahal Dunne will perform Thursday, March 14, 1 to 3 p.m., in the Goodman Ballroom at the Largo Community Center, 400 Alt. Keene Road. Tickets are $14 in advance and $15 at the door. Limited reserved seats are available. Call 518-3131. Dunne will bring the songs of Ireland to the center.

Caberfeidh Productions will present award-winning Ceilidh fiddler Andrea Beaton on Saturday, March 16, 8 p.m., at the Palladium at St. Petersburg College, 253 Fifth Ave. N., St. Petersburg. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 the day of the show. For information and tickets, call 822-3590, email palladium@spcollege.edu or visit www.spcollege.edu/palladiumnew.

From a long line of acclaimed musicians, Cape Breton native Andrea Beaton brings the best of Nova Scotia fiddling to St. Petersburg. Breton took top honors at the 2010 East Coast Music Awards for Instrumental Recording of the Year for her CD Branches. Beaton returns to The Palladium – and she is bringing some friends. Enjoy expertly-played Celtic music, along with stories and a few surprises when the party – Nova Scotia-style a la célidh, returns to Tampa Bay.

Irish Eyes are Smilin' Hootenanny with Dave Wladaver will be presented Saturday, March 16, 7 p.m., at Tarpon Springs Heritage Museum, 100 Beekman Lane, Tarpon Springs. Tickets are $14 for adults and $10 for members and students. Call 942-5605 or visit www.tarponarts.org. Guitarist and singer Dave Wladaver will lead the audience in an old-fashioned sing-along with the best oldies-but-goodies, Irish favorites and folk tunes. Song sheets will be provided.

Finally, Andy Cooney’s Forever Irish will be presented Monday, March 18, 1 p.m., at Ruth Eckerd Hall. Tickets start at $18. Cooney is a musician, songwriter, vocalist and entertainer. He will bring talent, versatility, a flair for entertaining and dynamic stage presence to helm this show that features a cast of a dozen musicians, singers and dancers.

Other St. Patrick’s Day celebrations

Clearwater

A three-day St. Patrick’s Day Celebration will run Friday through Sunday, March 15-17, at O’Keefe’s Family Tavern and Grill, 1219 S. Fort Harrison Ave., Clearwater

Friday will be the Irish Spring Break Pre-Party. Festivities will kick off when the outside tent opens at 5 p.m. The day’s events will include performances by the Irish Buskers, 5 p.m.; bagpipers, 8 p.m.; and the funk band Black Honkeys, 9 p.m.

On Saturday, festivities will begin at 11 a.m. The event will feature an arts and crafts show, dog St. Pat’s costume contest, rock wall, bounce house, face painting, balloon artist and other kid-friendly activities. Entertainment will include performances by Jack McGuire, 11:30 a.m.; Irish dancers, 3 p.m.; Pooka, 4 p.m.; bagpipers, 5 p.m.; Greg Billings, 7 p.m.; Paper Stanleys, 10 p.m.; and Pitbull Toddler, 11 p.m.

The fun will continue Sunday beginning at 10:30 a.m. with an Irish breakfast. There will be face painting, rock wall and a balloon artist. Entertainment will include performances by the Irish Buskers, 11:30 a.m.; Pooka, 4 p.m.; bagpipers, 5 and 7 p.m.; and Seven Nations, 8 p.m.

Call 442-9034 or visit www.okeefestavernonline.com.

Dunedin

There will be a St. Patrick’s Day Warm-up on Saturday, March 9, 6:30 p.m., at the Conmy Center, 750 San Salvador Drive, Dunedin. The event will feature traditional Irish food and spirits along with plenty of entertainment. Advance tickets are required and cost $10 a person. Call 733-0872. All proceeds will benefit Our Lady Of Lourdes Youth Ministry.

The Luck O’ the Irish Art Show is Sunday, March 10, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Downtown Dunedin Pioneer Park, on the corner of Douglas and Main Street, Dunedin.

Attendees will have an opportunity to meet the Dunedin Creative Artist Guild. The show will feature Irish themed local artist work including oil, pastel, watercolor, acrylic, print, cards and jewelry. Parking and admission are free. For information, email Michele_Alonso@yahoo.com.

A St. Patrick’s Day Party is Friday through Sunday, March 15-17, at Mike and Lisa’s Cricketers British Pub and Restaurant. There will be a parking lot tent party with five live bands on stage, including a performance by the Greg Billings Band. Food and cocktails will be available inside the establishment and outside beneath the tent. There will be a photo booth, face painting and a costume contest. Parking is free and there will be no cover charge. For information, call 736-1322 or visit cricketerspub.com.

Flanagan’s Irish Pub will host its annual St. Patrick’s Day Street Festival Saturday and Sunday, March 16-17. Hours will be Saturday, 5 to 11 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. The festival takes place on Main Street and is centered at Flanagan’s, 465 Main St., Dunedin.

The event will feature free musical entertainment in downtown Dunedin at Pioneer Park and at a second stage in front of Flanagan’s. There also will be traditional food, music and drinks.

Local television news personality Charley Belcher will serve as master of ceremonies. Entertainment will include performances by Lucid Druid, The Fightin’ Malones, The Irish Buskers, Every Green, Noel Cooney, the Dunedin Pipe Band and Irish dancers.

For information, call 736-4994 or visit saintpatricksdayfestival.com.

The progressive funkadelic band The Fritz will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a performance Sunday, March 17, at the Dunedin Brewery, 937 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. Hailing from Asheville, N.C., The Fritz is truly a band that defies the word “genre.” As schooled musicians, the members of The Fritz draw inspiration from improvised funk and rock, but also are heavily influenced by jazz, classical, world and electronic music. Spiritual Rez, a reggae horn dance party band, will open, taking the stage from 4 to 7 p.m. The Fritz will perform from 7 to 11 p.m. Call 736-0606 or visit www.dunedinbrewery.com.

Indian Shores

The Town of Indian Shores will host a St. Patrick’s Day Street Fest on Sunday, March 17, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Indian Shores Municipal Center, 19305 Gulf Blvd. Plans call for street vendors specializing in Irish and other food options, beverages, arts and crafts, clothing and many other vendors with varied products. There will be beer and beverage sales. Live entertainment will be provided by Tom Davis from noon to 3 p.m. Admission and parking are free. Call 595-4020 or visit www.myindianshores.com.

Tarpon Springs

It will be a great day for the Irish and “wanna-be Irish” when St. Patrick’s Days arrive Saturday and Sunday, March 16-17, at family-friendly Mulligans Irish Pub at Wentworth Golf Club, 2990 Wentworth Way, Tarpon Springs. The green beer will flow and attendees will enjoy an Irish buffet and live music. The celebration will spread throughout the Wentworth Golf Club’s pub, banquet room, and veranda.

An Old Irish Manor overlooking the greens is the setting for the second annual Mulligans St. Pat's Bash open to all at the Wentworth Golf Club. This year's party runs Saturday and Sunday with live music, corned beef and cabbage, bangers and mash and shepherd’s pie, green beer, Guinness and drink specials, games and prizes. Live music will be provided by Broken Roads, starting at 6 p.m. on Saturday. The all-day Sunday St. Pat's bash starts at noon and continues well into the evening with live bands, an Irish buffet, games for the kids and raffles. Students, families and retirees alike come dressed to celebrate in customary festive Irish garb, green leprechaun derby hats and other crazy costumes.

There is a $5 cover charge on Sunday only which includes a free draft beer and raffle ticket for prizes. Kids 11 and younger are free. Call 942-4760, ext. 28 or visit www.WentworthGolfClub.org. There is free parking and admittance through the Wentworth gates on East Lake Road, at the first light south of Tarpon Avenue.

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