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Pinellas Celebrates St. Patrick's Day
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Leaping leprechauns, St. Patrick’s Day 2014 is just around the corner!
Leaping leprechauns, St. Patrick’s Day 2014 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 underway all around Pinellas to celebrate the holiday on Monday, 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.

• Claddagh: An Explosion of Celtic Dance and Music will be presented Monday, March 17, 2 and 7 p.m., at Largo Cultural Center, 105 Central Park Drive, Largo.

Attendees will have an opportunity to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day while experiencing this groundbreaking production by the producers of Celtic Nights and Rhythm of the Dance.

Claddagh is a vivacious music, dance and multi-media spectacular that combines the fire and exuberance of shows such as “Barrage” and “Stomp” while weaving in the rich finesse of the grand Irish productions. With its underlying romantic storyline reminiscent of shows such as “Fantasticks,” “West Side Story” and “Grease,” this production will make this St. Patrick’s Day celebration one to remember.

Tickets start at $24.50. Visit Largo­Arts.­com or call 587-6793.

• The Florida Orchestra will present When Irish Eyes are Smiling on Friday, March 7, 8 p.m., at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N. W.C. MacInnes Place, Tampa; Saturday, March 8, 8 p.m., at The Mahaffey, 400 First St. S., St. Petersburg; and Sunday, March 9, 7:30 p.m., at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. Tickets start at $15. Call 813-229-7827 or visit www.s­trazc­enter­.org. Hailed as “one of the leading voices in Celtic music” by the Los Angeles Times, Cathie Ryan will soothe the soul and lift your spirit with lovely Irish lyrics, beloved ballads and traditional tunes of the Emerald Isle in this musical prelude to St. Patrick’s Day ... all with an Irish band and dancers. Jeff Tyzik conducts.

• Finbar Wright, Anthony Kearns and Ronan Tynan: The Irish Tenors with Live Orchestra will perform Monday, March 17, 7:30 p.m., at Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. Tickets start at $50. Call 791-7400 or visit www.a­tthec­ap.co­m. Whenever thoughts turn to Ireland and Irish music, The Irish Tenors immediately spring to mind. Ranked as Ireland’s premier ambassadors of song, they entertain audiences worldwide with a quality of performance which is unrivalled, incomparable and, most importantly in their eyes, worthy of the rich cultural heritage of the country of Ireland and the exquisite musical treasury created by Irish people everywhere throughout history. Finbar Wright, Anthony Kearns and Ronan Tynan return with a heartfelt and patriotically charged performance not to be missed.

Other St. Patrick’s Day celebrations


• A three-day St. Patrick’s Day Celebration will run Saturday through Monday, March 15-17, at O’Keefe’s Family Tavern and Grill, 1219 S. Fort Harrison Ave., Clearwater. Hours will be Saturday, 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.; Sunday, noon to midnight; and Monday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Call 442-9034 or visit www.o­keefe­stave­rnonl­ine.c­om.

Saturday’s festivities will feature performances by an Irish band and bagpipers. The Paper Stanleys take the stage at 9 p.m. followed by Pitbull Toddler at 11 p.m.

On Sunday, there will be live entertainment, bagpipes, Irish dancers, kids’ activities, flame throwers, rock wall and bounce house. Entertainment will include performances by Tomaura Irish Band, Irish Buskers and Black Honkeys.

On Monday, kids’ activities will be offered from noon to 5 p.m. Activities will include a rock wall, face painter and balloon artist. Entertainment will feature performances by Tomaura, Orlando’s Irish Band with Irish Dancers and Greg Billings Band.


• Flanagan’s Irish Pub will be celebrating the 12th annual St. Patrick’s Day Street Festival on Monday, March 17, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. This daylong celebration on Main Street in Dunedin includes many Irish festivities including entertainment by Lucid Druid, The Irish Buskers, Noel Cooney and Bob Larrivee, Evergreen, Celtic Circle +, the Dunedin Pipe Band and Irish dancers.

Traditional Irish fare including shepherd’s pie, fish n’ chips, banger sandwiches, corned beef & cabbage along with hamburgers and hot dogs will be available.

Plenty of Guinness and your other favorite beers (including green), wine, soda and water are also available. Inside the pub try some Irish whiskey, a car bomb (that’s a drink!) or a Baby Guinness shot. For the kids there is a child’s craft area, face painters, and balloonist.

Find out who the first annual Miss St. Patrick’s Day Queen will be and don’t forget to buy a raffle ticket to enter for a chance to win a trip for two to Ireland sponsored by the New World Celts. Drawing will be at 10 p.m. and you do not need to be present to win. Flanagan’s Irish Pub is at 465 Main St., Dunedin. The entertainment is free. For more information, call 727-736-4994 or visit flana­gansi­rishp­ub.ne­t or saint­patri­cksda­yfest­ival.­com.

• Cricketer's British Pub & Restaurant on Bayshore Boulevard in Dunedin will host a three-day parking lot party March 15-17 with five live bands, face painting, food and cocktails and more. Parking and event admission are free. Visit www.c­ricke­tersp­ub.co­m for more information.

Indian Shores

• The town of Indian Shores will host a St. Patrick’s Day Festival on Saturday, March 15, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Indian Shores Municipal Center, 19305 Gulf Blvd., Indian Shores. Plans call for food and games, vendors, arts and crafts and a book sale. 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. Seating is limited. Attendees may bring a chair. Call 595-4020 or visit www.m­yindi­ansho­res.c­om.


• The ninth annual Shamrock’n Run 5K and 1.5 mile walk will take place Friday, March 14, 7 p.m., at Ulmer Park, 301 West Bay Drive, Largo. Featuring food, fun, friends and live entertainment, this family-friendly event will help kick off St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Children 7 and younger also can lace up their shoes and participate in the Clover Kids Fun Run starting at 8:15 p.m.

Following the races, all participants will enjoy a post-race meal, refreshments, drinks, award ceremony and live entertainment by local band, 3 Pint Harmony. A free concert begins at 6 p.m. Non-racers are welcome. The Largo’s Recreation, Parks and Arts Department sponsors the Shamrock’n Run. For race fees and to download a registration form, visit Largo­Sport­s.com, or register online at Activ­e.com. For information, call 587-6740, ext. 5016, or email athletics@largo.com.

Madeira Beach

• Madeira Beach will celebrate the wearing of the green a wee bit early, starting at the top o’ the day Saturday, March 15, and continuing on Sunday, March 16, at 15002 Madeira Way, Madeira Beach.

The Madeira Beach St. Patrick’s Art and Crafts Festival will feature authentic Irish food, vendors and live music from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

Following the Irish tradition, Hammerheads Seafood will be serving corned beef and cabbage, shepherd’s pie, bangers and mash as well as a few seafood items. Firehouse CrabBalls also will be setting up shop all the way from Williamsport, Md.

There will be a variety of art and craft vendors, such as GreenMan Pottery, Celtic designs and dog collars; Spigg Island, fish rubbings; Beach Art by Barrie, and others such as jewelry, dips and candles.

Live entertainment will be featured throughout the weekend. Kicking off the event Saturday, the Tampa Bay Highland Dancers will celebrate the Celtic spirit as they dance to traditional music at 11:30 a.m. and again at 1 p.m. The performance company is currently raising money for new competitive costumes and will be accepting donations during their performances.

Weaving his performances around the flings, jigs and Irish step-dancing, Jay Pritchard will be making his return to the stage with Irish ditties and ballads from noon to 2:30 p.m. At 3 p.m., Coventry Jones, internationally touring singer/songwriter, will take the stage, sharing his audience-participation Celtic songs and parodies.

Entertainment on Sunday will begin at noon with 3 Pint Harmony, a high-energy Celtic rock band that plays amped up traditional songs, covering Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphy’s and Seven Nations.

There are no admission fees. Call 322-5217 or visit www.f­acebo­ok.co­m/Mon­thlyM­adnes­sMadB­ch.

Safety Harbor

• Nolan's Pub on Main Street in Downtown Safety Harbor with entertain guests with music, special drink deals and a charity 5K race during the St. Patrick's Weekend Party March 14-17. Visit www.n­olans­pub.c­om for a complete list of events.


• The 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment Rough Riders Inc., in conjunction with The Tampa Tribune and the city of Tampa, will present the 18th annual Rough Riders’ St. Patrick’s Parade Saturday, March 15, in Ybor City. The parade will kick off at 8 p.m. and will feature a variety of 90 floats and krewes rolling down Seventh Avenue in historic Ybor City. Visit www.t­ampa-­rough­rider­s.org.

Tarpon Springs

• Three days of fun for the Irish and “wanna-be Irish” are in store when St. Patrick’s Days arrive Saturday, Sunday and Monday, March 15-17, at family-friendly Mulligans Irish Pub at Wentworth Golf Club, 2990 Wentworth Way, Tarpon Springs.

Offerings include green beer, an Irish buffet and live music. The celebration will spread throughout the Wentworth Golf Club’s pub, banquet room, and veranda.

The food and fun begins Saturday, March 15 with Irish food and drink specials all day. Ken Keller plays from noon to 3 p.m., and Broken Roads takes the stage at 7 p.m. and plays late into the night. On Sunday, Irish food and drink again flows. Ken Keller plays from noon to 3 p.m., and Mickey Lorden from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. On St. Patrick’s Day, Monday, March 17, the Irish Buffet is featured, and live music will be presented. Ken Keller will play 1 to 5 p.m.

For extra fun on Monday, there will be a photo booth and bounce house from 2 to 7 p.m. Prizes will be awarded for the best costumes, and Irish party favors given away. The only cover is $3 on Monday, while kids under 15 are free. Call 942-4760, ext. 28 or visit www.W­entwo­rthGo­lfClu­b.org. There is free parking and admittance through the Wentworth gates.
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