No blarney, we have loads of St. Patrick's Day parties this weekend

Rough Riders St. Patrick's Night Parade

Like a Gasparilla turned green, the Rough Riders have been throwing this big St. Patrick's Day parade for 18 years. This year there are more than 90 floats and krewes from across Florida tossing green beads as they roll down Seventh Avenue in historic Ybor City starting at 8 p.m. Saturday. Free. Downtown Ybor City, E Seventh Avenue and N 14th Street, Tampa.



St. Patrick's Day River O'Green Fest

For the second year, Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Tampa celebrate St. Patrick's Day by dyeing the Hillsborough River with a bright green, biodegradeable dye. In addition, there will be Irish entertainment including Guinness and Cigar City beer for sale and a performance by 3 Pint Harmony — as well as non-Irish fare from food trucks such as Wicked Wiches, Docho Nacho and more. Free. Curtis Hixon park, 600 N Ashley Drive, Tampa. (813) 274-8615. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday.



Bay Area Renaissance Festival

This week, the festival continues with Shamrocks and Shenanigans featuring Highland heavy games, free beer tasting, a Celtic village, "Men in Kilts" competition and a mashed potato eating contest. $15.95 advance, $7.95 ages 5-12 advance; $18.95 at the gate, $14.95 seniors at the gate, $10.95 ages 5-12 at the gate; $10 pets, $35 pet season pass. Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI), 4801 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. Toll-free 1-800-601-4848. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.

Bay Area Renaissance Festival

This week, the festival continues with Shamrocks and Shenanigans featuring Highland heavy games, free beer tasting, a Celtic village, "Men in Kilts" competition and a mashed potato eating contest. $15.95 advance, $7.95 ages 5-12 advance; $18.95 at the gate, $14.95 seniors at the gate, $10.95 ages 5-12 at the gate; $10 pets, $35 pet season pass. Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI), 4801 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. Toll-free 1-800-601-4848. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.

Get ready to turn green, or watch the river turn emerald at least, as beer starts flowing and the bagpipers get warmed up. Sunday is St. Patrick's Day, but the whole weekend is filled with green beer, green beads, a green river and even a green Gasparilla-style parade through Ybor City. Before you gather up your shamrocks to check out the many ways to turn Irish this weekend, we think this is a good time to separate the blarney from the reality, so we've thrown in an Irish quiz and some trivia.

Times staff

. Hillsborough

Dubliner St. Patrick's Day Extravaganza

The three-day party starts with Friday's Irish luncheon ($8.99) including fish and chips and corned beef and cabbage. Later enjoy live music and $5 Guinness specials. Saturday, bring your dog for St. Puppy's Day with a traditional Irish breakfast brunch ($9.95), live music all day, Irish dancers, a "Most Irish" pet contest and free beer with the donation of a 5-pound bag of dog food. Sunday fill up on an Irish breakfast brunch for a day of open tap green Miller Lite, Irish dancers, live entertainment, giveaways and prizes. Also taking place at South Tampa Dubliner. Free Fri.-Sat.; $5 after 3 p.m. Sun. Dubliner Irish Pub, Citrus Park, 12836 Henderson Road, Tampa. (813) 300-2076. 11 a.m. Friday-Sunday.

Irish invasion at Four Green Fields

Four Green Fields opens at 10 a.m. on St. Patrick's Day, followed by a lunch buffet of shepherd's pie, corned beef and cabbage and fish 'n' chips from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. $16.95 per person. Live Irish music by Pat Dunlea, Peter Wrafter and Legacy from noon until closing. $10 starting at noon, unless you order $16.95 buffet. Four Green Fields, 205 W Platt St., Tampa. (813) 254-4444. 10 a.m. Sunday.

MacDinton's SOHO

The party starts early, at 9 a.m. Sunday with live music, Irish dancers, bagpipers and lots of beer and corned beef and cabbage. $10 after 4 p.m. MacDinton's Irish Pub, 405 S Howard Ave., Tampa. (813) 251-8999.

Luck of the Irish Tampa Pub Crawl

A two-night progressive party or pub crawl with drink specials at more than six bars. Participating bars include Reservoir Bar (registration site), R Bar, Hamburger Marys, Coyote Ugly Saloon, Elmers Sports Cafe and First Chance/Last Chance. $5, $10 both days. The Reservoir, 1518 E Seventh Ave., Tampa. (212) 724-3900. Noon-11 p.m. Saturday, noon-8 p.m. Sunday.

Paddy Fest

A two-day street festival including music by Seven Nations and U2 tribute band Mysterious Ways, a St. Patrick look-a-like contest, leprechauns, balloon art, food, drink, a corn hole tournament, a kids zone and LED walls showing March Madness. $15, 18 and younger free, $100 all inclusive, $150 VIP. Irish 31, 1611 W Swann Ave., Tampa. (813) 250-0031. 3-9 p.m. Saturday, noon-7 p.m. Sunday.

Sail Paddy's Celebration

The Sail Pavilion celebrates with a party in the 360-degree waterfront bar with beer and Irish car bomb specials, a best pup leprechaun contest for dogs, DJ music and giveaways. Free. Sail Pavilion on the Riverwalk, 333 S Franklin St., Tampa. (813) 373-1193. 2-10 p.m. Sunday.

Wentworth's St. Patrick's Day Bash

The green golf course sets the backdrop for this celebration, with Irish food, live music, green beer and beer specials and family-friendly activities. The party has spread from the pub to the banquet room, the verandah and the open air courtyard for more seating room. Free Sat.; $5 Sun.; 11 and younger free. Mulligan's Irish Pub at Wentworth Golf Club, 2990 Wentworth Way, Tarpon Springs. (727) 942-4760. Also taking place at Milligan's Irish Pub at Pebble Creek Golf Club in Tampa. 6 p.m. Saturday, noon Sunday.

St. Patrick's Day City Hop

Start at either the Spaghetti Warehouse or Gaspar's Grotto and wander to about 10 locations for food, drink specials and St. Patrick's Day revelry ending at midnight. Benefits Rough Riders charities. $20. Spaghetti Warehouse, 1911 N 13th St., Tampa. (813) 248-1898. 6 p.m. Friday.

StarShip St. Patrick's Day Cruises

Climb aboard the Yacht StarShip for a great view of the Hillsborough River as it's dyed green Saturday or take a dinner cruise to dine on a buffet of traditional Irish favorites on Sunday. There will be Irish food and a cash bar with green beer available Saturday for the green river cruise from noon to 2 p.m. for $49.95, $39.95 children. Sunday's dinner cruise is $54.95, $29.95 children from 5:30-8 p.m. Sunday. Yacht StarShip, 603 Channelside Drive, Tampa. (813) 223-7999.

St. Patrick's Day with World of Drum and Bass

With thousands of lasers, two-for-one green bottle Heinekens and Central Florida's only stop for the World of Drums and Bass show. Entertainers and effects masters include LTJ Bukem, DJ SS, the Prototypes, Subzero, Blokhe4d, Cabbie and many more. 18 and older only. $15. Club Underground, 802 E Whiting St., Tampa. (813) 221-2582. 8 p.m. Sunday.

Be A Part of the Parade

The GaYbor Krewe invites anyone to join them waving and tossing beads in the annual Rough Riders St. Patrick's Day Parade. Includes a preparade party with appetizers and drinks, throw beads, two trader beads and guaranteed participation on the parade. Rider spots are limited, but plenty of room for walkers. $35 rider, $20 walker. MC Filmfest, 1901 N 15th St., Ybor City. (813) 247-6233. 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

. Pinellas

Finfest

Finley's celebrates St. Patrick's Day all weekend long with a three-day party including an Irish whiskey bar, bagpipers, arts and crafts, a drag car, Irish dancers, face painting and live music. Free Fri.; $5 Sat.-Sun. Finley's Irish Pub and Eatery, 13477 Belcher Road S, Largo. (727) 535-7858. 11 a.m. Friday-Sunday.

McFerg's

Ferg's shows its Irish side with a St. Patrick's Day party including entertainment, green beer, corned beef and cabbage, and shepherds pie. Free (food/drink additional). Ferg's Sports Bar & Grill, 1320 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. (727) 822-4562. 11 a.m. Sunday.

MacDinton's St. Pete

The party starts at 11 a.m. and goes on into the "wee" hours with live music on two stages, Irish bagpipers and dancing girls. $10 after 6 p.m. MacDinton's Irish Pub, 242 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 565-0544. 11 a.m. Sunday.

Paddy's in the Park

A 12-hour party with Irish dancers, bagpipers, food, drink and nonstop live music by Zach Biss, Seven Nations, Sunburn, Jeremy Thomas and the Soul Circus Cowboys. Benefits Village Partners International and St. John Vianney Catholic Church and School. Free. St. Pete Beach Community Center and Horan Park, 7701 Boca Ciega Drive, St. Pete Beach. (727) 851-9955. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday.

St. Patrick's Day Backyard Bash

With indoor and outdoor bars, hundreds of pounds of corned beef, drink specials, Irish dancers, pipe bands and other live music both days. Free (food/drink additional). Peggy O'Neills Irish Pub, 1026 Florida Ave., Palm Harbor. (727) 787-7734. 11 a.m. Saturday-Sunday.

Cahal Dunne

A musical St. Patrick's Day salute by the County Cork native known as "Ireland's Happy Man." $14-$16. Largo Community Center, 400 Alt, Keene Road, Largo. (727) 518-3131. 1-3 p.m. today.

Classic Rock St. Patrick's Day Party

With dancing to live classic rock from the '60s to the '80s by Herb Gross and the Invictas. Crescent Oaks Country Club, 3300 Crescent Oaks Blvd., Tarpon Springs. $12, $9 members. 5 p.m. Friday.

St. Pete Beach Patrick's Day Dance

With live Irish music by the Tommy Doyle Band, snacks and green beer. Corned beef sandwiches and Irish soda bread available for purchase. $15. St. John Vianney Parish, 445 82nd Ave, St. Pete Beach. (727) 367-9813. 7 p.m. today.

Dunedin St. Patrick's Day Dinner Dance

Do the reel to Irish music or the twist to '50s and '60s music at this dance with a corned beef and cabbage dinner. $15. Knights of Columbus, 1251 San Christopher Drive, Dunedin. (727) 365-2582. 6-10 p.m. Saturday.

Lucky Dill St. Patrick's Day Extravaganza

Lucky Dill Deli continues a weeklong celebration with Irish-inspired food and drink, corned beef, fire dancers, caricatures, face painting, bagpipes, contests, green beer and live entertainment. Free admission. Lucky Dill Deli, 33180 U.S. 19 N, Palm Harbor. (727) 789-5574. 11 a.m. today-Sunday.

St. Patrick's Day Party at Cricketers

This three-day parking lot party has four tents, with live entertainment, contests for craziest, funniest and greenest costumes, giveaways, a photo booth, food, a beer truck serving green beer and Irish car bomb specials. Free. Cricketers Dunedin, 2634 Bayshore Blvd., Dunedin. (727) 736-1322. 5 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. Saturday-Sunday.

Dunedin St. Patrick's Day Street Festival

Flanagan's takes its annual party to the street with children's activities, live music by numerous area bands, a performance by the Dunedin Pipe Band, Irish Step Dancers, Irish Buskers, traditional Irish food, beer and the Fightin' Malones. Free. Flanagan's Irish Pub, 465 Main St., Dunedin. (727) 736-4994. 5-11 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday.

O'Keefe's St. Patrick's Weekend Party

The annual tent party with corned beef and cabbage, green beer, Irish drinks, dancers, continuous bagpipers, arts and crafts show, face painter, rock climbing, balloon artists, bounce house and live music. Free Fri.; $5 after 5 p.m. Sat. and after 4 p.m. Sun. O'Keefe's Family Tavern and Grille, 1219 S Fort Harrison Ave., Clearwater. (727) 442-9034. 5 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. Sunday.

Shamrock'n Run 5K and Walk

This St. Paddy's-themed event includes a 5K competitive run, 1.5-mile walk, a kids Clover Dash, live music, food and drinks. Green attire recommended. $20 (5K); $15 (1.5-mile); $7 Clover Dash. Ulmer Park, 301 W Bay Drive, Largo. (727) 587-6740, ext. 5016. 7 p.m. Friday.

Water Ski Show

The Tampa Bay Water Ski Show Team, with more than 100 skiers ages 6-60 perform theatrical water shows similar to those seen at Cypress Gardens. The first performance of the season features a St. Patrick's Day theme and includes barefoot, jump, ballet, adagio and pyramid acts. Free. Tower Lake, 130 Burbank Road, Oldsmar. (727) 480-9365. 6 p.m. Saturday.

. Theme parks

Busch Gardens

The Tampa theme park will be dishing out Irish fare all weekend long, including corned beef and cabbage and Irish beer selections. You can also sample some green beer at the Dessert Grill and Crown Colony House restaurant. Busch Gardens, 3605 Bougainvillea Ave., Tampa. Ticket info at buschgardens.com.

St. Patrick's Day Celebration Downtown Disney

Downtown Disney's Raglan Road Irish Pub isn't just throwing a St. Patrick's Day party, they're pulling out all the stops with a 2-weekend-long celebration including Irish food, stilt walkers, artists, face painters and plenty of live entertainment. All the food and cast members come straight from the Emerald Isle. The party goes on until 1 a.m. Free today-Friday, $5 for 18 and older Saturday, $10 for 18 and older Sunday. Downtown Disney, 1590 E Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista. (407) 828-3800. 6 p.m. today-Friday, noon Saturday-Sunday.

Free towing

for partiers

AAA and Bud Light will improve your luck St. Patrick's weekend by offering free towing for anyone, AAA member or not, in their Tow to Go promotion Friday through Sunday. The AAA tow truck will take the vehicle and the driver home within a 10-mile radius. Call (855) 2-TOW-2-GO or (855) 286-9246.

A wee quiz

1) Kissing the Blarney Stone is suppose to give you what?

2) What Irish plant is supposed to represent the Trinity used by Christians?

True or false:

3) St. Patrick changed Ireland's national color to green.

4) The very first St. Patrick's Day parade was held in the U.S., not Ireland.

5) On St. Patrick's Day, all Lent restrictions are dropped.

6) The potato is native to Ireland.

(Answers on Page 17)

Is it St. Paddy's Day or St. Patty's Day?

Be ready for an Irish brawl if you shorten St. Patrick's Day as St. Patty's Day. That's because Paddy is derived from the Gaelic name Pádraig (Patrick), despite at one time being an Irish slur. "Patty is the diminutive of Patricia, or a burger, and just not something you call a fella," harrumphs the website PaddynotPatty.com.

Who's responsible for this

green beer abomination?

Probably not the Irish. Certainly, green beer flows more freely in American bars than in Irish pubs. The common dark beer of Ireland becomes darker brown, not green, when coloring is added. That said, the origin of green beer is not easy to come by. It probably got its start in Boston or New York City, both of which have large populations of folks of Irish ancestry.

Green for green

The average adult will spend $35.19 on green attire, decorations, food and drinks for St. Patrick's Day, according to the National Retail Federation. That doesn't seem like a lot of green beer. But overall, that comes to $4.7 billion — not bad for a nongift-giving holiday. But not much gold compared to, say, Valentine's Day at $17.6 billion.

Answers

(from Page 15)

1) Removes shyness and gives you the gift of great eloquence and skill at flattery.

2) The shamrock with its three leaves.

3) False. Originally, the color associated with St. Patrick was blue.

4) True. The Irish have been celebrating the feast of St. Patrick since the ninth century, but the first recorded parade anywhere was in Boston in 1737.

5) True. St. Patrick's Day is celebrated on March 17, the saint's religious feast day and the anniversary of his death in the fifth century. Since St. Patrick's Day falls during the Christian season of Lent, Irish families would traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon, when Lenten prohibitions against the consumption of meat were waived.

6) False. It was brought from the New World by Spanish conquistadors who discovered it in Peru and is credited with saving Europe from starvation.

No blarney, we have loads of St. Patrick's Day parties this weekend 03/13/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 11:06pm]

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