Irish For A Day

Sunny South Florida in March doesn't have much in common with Ireland -- though we do have some snakes that need driving out, as St. Patrick once did for Ireland, so there's some shared ground. When it comes to a reason to celebrate like the Aires, that's quite enough. This year, the Fort Lauderdale St. Patrick's Day Parade on Saturday will not only be sponsored by Jameson Irish Whiskey but will be attended by the Budweiser Clydesdales. The day kicks off with a traditional Irish blessing at 11 a.m. in Huizenga Plaza, located at Las Olas Boulevard and Andrews Avenue. That reverent moment will be immediately followed by the running of the second-annual Leprechaun Leap Family Fun Run. At noon, the U.S. Coast Guard will stage a dramatic flyover to kick off the annual parade, which will include bagpipers, Irish dancers, and the aforementioned Clydesdales. If you aren't weeping green tears of Irish pride by that point, you need to drink more green beer. After the parade, the festival continues in Huizenga Plaza and along Riverwalk until 7 p.m. There will be musical performances by Celtic Bridge, Avalon, and the Fineans as well as all the usual festival fare, from food to stilt walkers to face-painting. Admission is free. Call 954-828-5363, or visit
Sat., March 9, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., 2013