It's that time of year where people all over America celebrate the arrival of Christianity in Ireland by coloring their beer green and drinking a lot of it.
St. Patrick's Day started as serious religious observance in the Catholic Church that noted the patron saint of Ireland transforming the country from its pagan roots into one of the world's most thoroughly Christian countries. It has evolved into a celebration of all things Irish.
The holiday itself is Tuesday, but all over Manatee County the festivities get under way this weekend.
Here's a round up of some of the most promising events.
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Main Street Live street party/Shamrock 5K
In downtown Bradenton, Main Street Live, the monthly street party on Old Main Street, is moving to March 14 to celebrate the day. (It's usually on the third Thursday of the month.) As always, there's live music -- Irish rock with The Dram (6 p.m.) -- and food and crafts vendors, and of course all the restaurants, pubs and bars along Old Main Street will be celebrating. It runs from 4 p.m. to midnight.
Also in downtown Bradenton on Saturday is the Shamrock 5K and Pub Crawl. A timed 5K race starts at 4:30 p.m.; shorter races for kids start at 3:30 p.m.
There's a post-race party with green beer, food and refreshments for all registered runners.
The Pub Crawl, for people who aren't inclined to run 5 kilometers, offers a commemorative glass and a free shots at several participating downtown bars. To register for the race or the crawl, go to Registration: $15-$40.
Information: 941-746-5659 or active.com or fit2run.com.
LWR Irish Celtic Festival
Lakewood Ranch hosts its fourth annual Irish Celtic Festival 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at Greenbrook Adventure Park, 13400 Adventure Place, Lakewood Ranch. The family friendly event featuring booths offering Celtic items for sale and information of Celtic Cultural Heritage, Irish and Scottish dancers, a demonstration of Irish hurling and Gaelic football, a mini-hoops challenge, a puck-shoot contest in the skate rink, traditional Irish and Celtic fare, craft beers from Ireland and Scotland, children's activities, music by the Braden River Pipers, a dog parade and much more. Admission is free, food and beverage are available for purchase. Registration for the dog parade is $5 in advance or $10 day of event. Proceeds will benefit the Humane Society of Lakewood Ranch.
Beach Bistro/Eat Here's St. Patrick's Day Parade
The Beach Bistro/Eat Here's 16th annual St. Patrick's Day Parade is set for 4 p.m. Sunday in Holmes Beach on Anna Maria Island.
The parade assembles around 2 p.m. at Eat Here at 5315 Gulf Drive. Around 4 p.m., the parade will head north along Marina Drive to Palm Drive, and then north on Palm to the corner of 78th Street.
The parade will celebrate with the usual dignitaries, cyclists, floats, dancers, high school bands and floats garnished with greenery. But any group that wants to join in is welcome.
Anyone interested in participating should contact Eat Here for information at 941-778-0411.
Clancy's St. Paddy's Day Bash
Since St. Patrick's Day falls on a Tuesday this year, most of the celebrations in the Bradenton area are over the weekend. The one major exception is the 15th annual St. Paddy's Day Bash at Clancy's Irish Sports Pub.
The festivities get going at noon and run deep into the night. The music lineup includes BC & The Gant (noon-2:30 p.m.), Jack Tamburin (3-5:30 p.m.), bagpipers (5-8 p.m.), Bus Fulla Monkeys (5:30-8 p.m.) and Kettle of fish (8:30-11 p.m.). Get captured by the Desoto Conquistadors around 6:30 p.m. Traditional Irish food -- corned beef and cabbage, shepherd's pie and the like -- will be available all day, along with burgers and dogs and other fare. The bash is free but it's only for adults (21 and over.) Clancy's is at 6218 Cortez Road in Bradenton. Call 941-794-2489 or go to www.clancysirishsportspub.com.
St. Paddy's Day Dinner Party
Shamrocks and Leprechauns, a St. Paddy's Day Dinner Party, will be held beginning at 6 p.m. March 17 at Faith United Methodist Church, 7215 First Ave. W., Bradenton, featuring traditional corned beef, cabbage, candied carrots, mashed potatoes, drinks and dessert. Cost: $10. Information: 941-792-2244 or faithchurchum.org.
Bradenton Elks St. Patrick's Day
The Bradenton Elks Lodge 1511, 2511 75th St. W., will be hosting it's annual St. Patrick's Day Celebration March 17. Entertainment will feature Don Huntsinger, The Sarasota Highlanders Bagpipers, The Children's Irish Dance Academy and Tanya and Matt. The lodge will be open to the public and a full menu consisting of corned beef and cabbage, corned beef sandwiches and real Irish cottage pie will be available.
The day's activities will also include games, contests and prizes. All proceeds will benefit the Elks Children's and Veterans Charities.