BRANDON — With St. Patrick's Day only four days away, there are plenty of ways to celebrate the Irish holiday in the area. Revelers can drink green beer, stay fit or spend time with family. • Celebrators who have yet to make plans, take heart. Consider this list your four-leaf clover.
Shamrock Classic 10K and 5K
Where: Sabal Park, near Falkenburg Road and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
When: Sunday, 10K is at 8 a.m.; 5K is at 9 a.m.; 1-mile run/walk is at 9:45 a.m.
Pull out the running shoes and get ready to burn some calories. Now in its 31st year, the Shamrock Classic is one of the biggest road races in the Brandon area. Organizers expect 350 runners to participate. Look for some runners to don leprechaun costumes. Race amenities include T-shirts, awards for the top finishers, food, and, yes, green beer. Register at www.active.com or on-site.
O'Brien's Irish Pub
Forget about a one-day holiday, O'Brien's Irish Pub celebrates all week. With locations in Brandon, Riverview and Plant City, the festivities at O'Brien's start tonight with tent parties and continue until early Wednesday morning. On Tuesday, every location will have outdoor entertainment, corned beef, cabbage and green beer starting at 11 a.m. Each pub also plans to hold a food drive Sunday through Tuesday. Here's a schedule of events offered by each location:
Brandon, 701 W Lumsden Road
Saturday: Beer Festival, from 3 to 7 p.m.
Sunday: St. Puppy's Day dog show (all ages) to raise money for charity, from 3 to 7 p.m.
Riverview, 11375 Big Bend Road
Saturday: A family-friendly Irish Block Party will include face painting, bounce houses, cabbage bowling and potato sack races, starts at 2 p.m.
Plant City, 1701 S Alexander St.
Saturday: The same Irish Block Party as the Riverview location, plus a St. Puppy's Dog Show at 5 p.m.
Tuesday: Hot dog eating contest, 11 p.m.
Beef 'O' Brady's
Celebrate at any of this chain's bay area locations, including the original in Brandon. Beefs offers a family-friendly environment, along with green beer. The Riverview-Summerfield location, 13326 Lincoln Road, will have step dancing, corned beef, cabbage and tattoos for children. For a list of locations throughout the bay area, go to www.beefobradys.com.
Whitey's Fox and Hounds Irish Pub
Located at 229 E Brandon Blvd., Whitey's Fox and Hounds Irish Pub will start partying early Tuesday, with doors opening at 11 a.m. Live music kicks off at 3 p.m., and Irish dancing begins at 5 p.m.
O'Toole's Irish Pub
Bands, bagpipers and dancers will be on hand at O'Toole's Irish Pub, 1215 W Brandon Blvd., beginning around noon Tuesday. O'Toole's will offer a limited menu with Irish food and drinks and a tent party until midnight.