Want to celebrate a St. Patrick's Day that you can remember the next morning? Try one of several family-friendly activities, aka green-beer-free zones.
"They aren't as rare as they used to be," said Mary McFarland, an editor at the St. Paul-based Irish Gazette monthly newspaper. "The parades in St. Paul and Minneapolis are one of the most family-friendly events. Minneapolis has contests for the kids, like most freckles and reddest hair."
Besides the contests, families can honor the patron saint of Ireland with a jaunt around Lake Como, dance venues, and parades in St. Paul (noon) and Minneapolis (6:30 p.m.).
• Irish Traditions 5K run and walk around Lake Como. Register before the 9 a.m. start at the pavilion, 1360 N. Lexington Pkwy., St. Paul, $40.
• Local and regional Irish music, dance and marketplace. 10 a.m.- 5 p.m., Landmark Center, 75 W. 5th St., St. Paul, 651-292-3225, www.landmarkcenter.org, $4-6 admission.
• St. Paul parade. Starts at noon between Wall and Washington Streets, along 5th Street and around Rice Park, 651-256-2155, www.stpatsassoc.org.
• Minneapolis parade. Starts at 6:30 p.m. at 13th St. and Nicollet Mall, 763-234-7111, www.mplsstpats.org.
• Annual Irish Ceili Dance. 7 p.m., Czech-Slovakian Preservation Society Hall, 383 Michigan Av., St. Paul, $5-$10 admission. Music is by Barra. Dance instruction available.
• Irish ceili and set dancing. 7-11 p.m., Celtic Junction, 836 N.
Prior Av., St. Paul, 612-703-2147, www.thecelticjunction .com, $5 admission.