Going beyond green beer on St. Patrick's Day

  • Article by: JOHN EWOLDT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 17, 2012 - 1:19 PM

Stefanie McAlpine with daughters Eleanor, 3, on her shoulders and Louisa, 1, strapped in a baby carrier at 2011 St. Patrick's Day parade in St. Paul

Photo: Kyndell Harkness, Star Tribune

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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.

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