Irish eyes will truly be smiling this weekend as the St. Patrick's Day festivities get under way. From the city's big parade on Sunday to the parties at neighborhood saloons, revelers will paint the town green. Here are a few of the events planned:
Baltimore's 36th annual St. Patrick's Day Parade will commence Sunday at 2 p.m., featuring lifelong city resident and Irish community member, Leo Welsh as grand marshal. This year's parade, which includes the Baltimore Colts Band, boasts more than 22 bands and 69 marching units in what is believed to be the city's largest parade of the year.
Beginning at the Washington Monument, the parade will proceed south on Charles Street turn left on Pratt Street and continue to Market Place.
In celebration of its 200th anniversary, St. Patrick's Church in Fells Point is having an Irish Festival featuring food, drink and traditional Irish music by Rigadoo and Relatively Irish. The festival will also highlight a dance performance by the Ceanannas Mor School of Irish Dancing and magic by Mr. Emerald. The festivities will be held from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday at the church, 317 S. Broadway. Admission is $2 for adults and $1 for senior citizens and children.
An Irish stew competition will be held at the Original Sports Bar, 34 Market Place. Also, test your knowledge with a trivia quiz, and test the old vocal cords with a sing-along. Proceeds benefit the Maryland Food Committee. It's all on St. Paddy's Day from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Call (410) 366-0600 for more information.
A St. Patrick's Day Dance sponsored by the Joppa-Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company promises food and fun with live music by Collage on Saturday from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. The dance will be at the main firehouse, 1403 Old Mountain Road South. Tickets are $13 a person and $25 a couple. Call (410) 679-1055.
This weekend will be Linganore Wine Cellars' "Leprechaun Weekend," promising Irish laughter, familiar tunes and playful leprechauns peeking from every nook and cranny. Made in the tradition of the Auld Sod, Leprechaun Mead will be available for tasting. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday at Linganore Wine Cellars, 13601 Glissans Mill Road, Mount Airy. Call (410) 795-6432 for more information.
"Hear My Song," is yours for a song (free admission that is) if you show up at the Rotunda Twin Cinemas for the 7:30 p.m. showing wearing green on St. Patrick's Day. It's an Irish film starring Ned Beatty as an Irish tenor who flees England for non-payment of taxes, and a down-trodden promoter tries to lure him back for a last concert. The theater is at 711 W. 40th St.
St. Paddy's Day rivals New Year's Eve for drawing patrons to bars, and this year is no exception. At the Cat's Eye Pub, at 1730 Thames St., right after Sunday's parade at 4 p.m., more festivities will be held. The group, Banjos from Hell, will perform until 9 p.m., when Timmy Fields will take the stage to perform Irish ballads.
On St. Paddy's Day, the pub will celebrate it's 17th anniversary by giving away Irish coffee poured into commemorative mugs. The group Dogs Among Bushes will perform.
Corned beef and cabbage will be served, and the street will be blocked off in anticipation of a big crowd at Kavanagh's, 311 W. Madison St. The party, which will be held from noon to 2 a.m., will feature Pat McAllurim, a singer and guitarist.
The Irish Pub, 249 W. Chase St., will feature Irish food and music all weekend. McGinn's Irish Pub & Restaurant, 328 N. Charles St., will host an all-day party on St. Patrick's Day, from 11 a.m. until 2 a.m. with live piano music by Scott McNinney beginning at 4 p.m. Irish favorites and sing-alongs will bring out the Irish spirit in a traditional party with enough corned beef and cabbage for everyone.