ST. PATRICK'S DAY BEST BETS
Irish Celtic Festival: Central Park, Lakewood Ranch
A lineup of "Lucky Dogs" will lead off the Irish Celtic Festival in Central Park at Lakewood Ranch 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m. March 16. Filled with entertainment from bands, dancing and children's activities, the day culminates with live action by the Manatee Irish Hurling & Gaelic Football Club at 3 p.m. in Summerfield Park. Other entertainment includes the Celtic Misfit Band, Andy Burr & Friends, the Highland Dancers and Bagpipers from Riverview High School in Sarasota, the Irish Dancers from the Drake School, and the New World Celtic Dance Team. Children's activities, Irish food and crafts will also be available.
Clancy's 13th annual St. Paddy's Day Bash: 6218 Cortez Road, Bradenton
Clancy's Irish Sports Pub will host its 13th Annual St. Paddy's Day Bash noon-1 a.m. March 17 featuring Irish food and continuous entertainment. Schedule: TC and The Troublemakers, noon-3 p.m.; authentic Irish music by Tommy Devine and Paul Williams, 3-6 p.m.; bag pipers, 5-8 p.m.; Manatee Cloggers, 6-7 p.m.; Jack Tamburin, 7-10 p.m. and Tamburin's Rye Road, 10 p.m.-1 a.m. Irish specialties include corned beef and cabbage, shepherd's pie, Irish coffee and more. A $50 prize for best Irish costume. Guests must be 21 years or older. Information: 941-794-2489 or visit www.clancyirishsportspub.com.
Fourteenth Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade, various locations, Anna Maria Island
The Beach Bistro's 14th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade will be at 4 p.m. March 17 and is scheduled to begin at Holmes Beach City Hall, 5801 Marina Dr., Holmes Beach, and ends on North Palm Drive and 78th Street. The event includes a Sham Rockin' Festival in the field adjacent to City Hall with booths offering food and crafts as of 11 a.m. The parade is free and open to the public and features area marching bands, pipe bands, musicians and colorful floats as well as charming wee folk dressed as leprechauns. Parade Marshalls are World War II veterans Sam Castelli and Jim Gabaree. This year's favorite participant is Judy the Parade Elephant let by her companion of over 40 years, Mr. Bones. Information: 941-778-6444.
St. Patrick's Day fundraiser: Aces Live, 4343 Palma Sola Blvd., Bradenton
Aces Live will hold a "live" music St. Paddy's Day event featuring homemade corn beef and cabbage dinner, noon until close March 17. Live music from Trevor Bystrom, Koko Ray, Tangled Mango and Wikked Jester. Prize drawings, silent auction and 50/50 proceeds to benefit Manatee Children's Services.
Shamrock 5K Run/Walk and Pub Crawl: Old Main Street, downtown Bradenton
The Shamrock 5K Run/Walk and Pub Crawl, featuring a 1-mile fitness walk and kid's leprechaun races, is March 17. Registration begins at 1 p.m. Kids races at 2:30 p.m. 5K chip-timed run at 3:30 p.m. One-mile fitness walk and 5K chip-timed doggie run at 3:35 p.m. The Old Main Street Post Race Party and Pub Crawl begins at 6 p.m. with live music by Big Daddy. The run benefits the Women's Resource Center and The Foundation for Dreams. Register online at www.active.com. Information: 941-746-5659.
Fifth Annual St. Patrick's Day Block Party: The Shamrock Pub, 2257 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota
The Shamrock Pub will host its fifth annual St. Patrick's Day Block Party beginning at noon March 17 featuring Irish dancers, Top O' the Limerick contest, traditional Irish and party food, live art installations, a prize drawing, live music by Andrew Thomas, Holler'n String Fellas', The Celtic Tiger, Askultura, Waking Giants, The Jacobites, Cats in the Basement, Sons of Hippies and the City of Sarasota Pipe Band. Admission is free. Information: 941-952-1730 or visit www.shamrocksarasota.com.