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17 best St. Patrick's Day events in the Baltimore area

From parades to pub crawls, here are the best ways to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in the Baltimore area this year.

Welcome to the one time every year when all of Baltimore happily goes green.

We speak, of course, of St. Patrick's Day, when all the land is suddenly Irish, the one day of the year when green headgear is mandatory, when putting on "O'" in front of your name is encouraged ("John O'Smith? Sure, why not?") and "Erin go bragh" suddenly becomes part of everyone's vocabulary.

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But happily, celebrating the Irish in all of us goes beyond such quaint silliness. There are parades and pub crawls, nature hikes and history presentations, cruises and 5Ks. And, of course, chances to feast on bangers and mash.

Get ready to hear some bagpipes, too. Bands like the Fire Brigade Pipes and Drums of Greater Baltimore will be marching in the area's parades, and should make an appearance or two at some local Irish pubs on March 17.

Here's a list of some of the best Baltimore has to offer its Irish brothers and sisters over the next few days. You'll have to find your own green hats.

Robin Bullock's Annual St. Patrick's Day Celebration The "Celtic guitar god" (at least that's what the City Paper has called him) presents an evening of songs from ancient Celtic musicians and their Appalachian descendants, performed on acoustic guitar, cittern and mandolin. 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Friday at An Die Musik, 409 N. Charles St. $10-$20. andiemusiklive.com.

Federal Hill Irish Stroll/ Pints of Gold Fells Point bar crawl Wind (or crawl) your way through Federal Hill's finest bars and pubs, enjoying the many drink specials as you go. Look hard, and you might even find a mug or 10 of green beer. 1 p.m.-9 p.m. Saturday (registration until 6 p.m.), beginning at Mother's Federal Hill Grille, 1113 S. Charles St. $20. And if you live on the other side of the harbor, the Fells Point version takes place 2 p.m.-10 p.m. March 18, with registration until 5 p.m. at The Point in Fells, 1738 Thames St. $10. lindypromo.com.

'James Connolly, Irish Patriot' A forum on one of the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising, which helped bring about establishment of the free Irish state. 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday at the Irish Railroad Workers Museum, 918-920 Lemmon St. Free. irishshrine.org.

Celtic Canter 5K and Downtown Irish Celebration A 5K race, followed by a day of Carroll County-style entertainment and both family- and adult-oriented celebrations, from kids' games to a pub crawl. Race begins at 9 a.m. Saturday at Railroad Avenue and Main Street in Westminster; $30. Free post-race festivities run 10 a.m.-4 p.m. in and around City Park, Main and Center streets. westminstermd.gov/Celtic.

Dundalk St. Patrick's Day Parade Dundalk's annual salute to the Emerald Isle starts at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Logan Village Shopping Center on Dundalk Avenue, then winds its way along Belclare Road, Liberty Parkway, Dunglow Road, Dunmanway and Shipping Place. Free. unexpecteddundalk.com.

Teelin Irish Dance Co. A program of spirited Irish dance and live Celtic music, performed by this Columbia-based dance company. 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday at the Carroll Arts Center, 91 W. Main St. in Westminster. $14-$16. carrollcountyartscouncil.org.

Emerald Isle Club Ceili The St. Patrick's Day edition of this Parkville-based group's monthly social gatherings will feature guests Danny Flynn and The Pride of Patuxent Pond Scum Ceili Band. 7 p.m.-11 p.m. Saturday at Heritage Parkville Gardens, 7631 Harford Road. $6-$18 (free for kids 6 and under). emeraldisleclub.com.

St. Patrick's Snakes Apparently, some of the snakes St. Patrick chased out of Ireland ended up at Lake Roland. Come meet a few. 2 p.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Lake Roland, 1000 Lakeside Drive. $2-$3. lakeroland.org.

Shamrock Shindig Music from The Shamrogues, plus food trucks, beer, wine, Shamrock Alley for the kids and strolling entertainment (we're betting on a few leprechauns). 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday at Pierce's Park, 716 Eastern Blvd. Free; $5 for a Shamrock Alley kid's pass, $30-$35 for all-you-can-drink wristbands. baltimorewaterfront.com.

St. Patrick Parade/Shamrock 5K Baltimore's traditional salute to its Irish heritage, real or imagined, kicks off at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Washington Monument, Charles and Monument streets, then heads south and east to Pratt Street and Market Place. For a warm-up, watch the fleet of foot participate in the Shamrock 5K (registration for the race is full), set to go off at 1:15 p.m. at Charles and Franklin streets. Free. irishparade.net.

St. Paddy's Week 2017 If you plan to eat this week, where better than at a pub named for one of Ireland's most famous wordsmiths? Planned events at the James Joyce Irish Pub & Restaurant, 616 S. President St., include a Parade Day Party (3 p.m.-7 p.m. Sunday, free admission); a three-course Guinness Dinner, with an entree of slow-braised pork shank (8 p.m.-10 p.m. Tuesday, $39.95); and a day-long St. Patrick's Day Celebration, featuring live music, Irish dancers, bag pipers and (of course) food specials (7 a.m. March 17-2 a.m. March 18). thejamesjoycepub.com.

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St. Patrick's Day Cruises Spirit Cruises is offering three ways to celebrate St. Paddy on the water, with a Parade Lunch Cruise (11 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday), including a brunch buffet ($51.90); a St. Patrick's Day Dinner Cruise (7 p.m.-10 p.m. next Friday), with a dinner buffet and cash bar ($71.90); and a Moonlight Cruise (boards at 11:30 p.m. next Friday and lasts until 2 a.m.), with a nightclub atmosphere ($36.90). All depart from 561 Light St. spiritcruises.com.

Shamrocks and Shenanigans Dunno if St. Patrick was a rocker, but if you are, celebrate with music from Mr. Greengenes and Laura Lea and Tripp Fabulous at Power Plant Live, 34 Market Place. Green beer, confetti and balloon drops, too. 7 p.m. March 17. $10-$60. And if you're still in the mood to party the next day, come back from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 18 for a Green Kegs & Eggs Rally. $30-$60. powerplantlive.com.

St. Patty's Banger More serious rocking, for St. Pat's fans of the head-banging variety. With music from 3PM, Others May Fall, The Great Heights Band, The Stifled and Underdog Champs. 7:30 p.m. March 17 at Baltimore Soundstage, 124 Market Place. $10-$15. baltimoresoundstage.com.

St. Patrick's Day Bash and Block Party Two days, two parties at Delia Foley's, 1439 S. Charles St. in Federal Hill. The St. Patrick's Day Bash (10 a.m.-1 a.m. March 17) will feature drink specials, live music from 3 p.m.-10:30 p.m., and giveaways. On March 18, the inaugural St. Patrick's Day Block Party (11 a.m.-8 p.m.) will feature live music, beer and food, plus an ice luge (which we're pretty sure St. Patrick never tried, but what the hey!). $10. facebook.com/DeliaFoleysPub.

Meet in the Street Live music (from Kristen and the Noise, Hot Tub Limo, Liquid A and Starcrush), plus delicious food and cold beverages, all served in a heated tent. 9 a.m.-2 a.m. next Friday and March 18 at Claddagh Pub & Restaurant, 2918 O'Donnell St. claddaghbaltimore.com.

Celtic Celebration Jack Everly and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra SuperPops present an evening of bagpipes, step dancing and music from "Braveheart," "Titanic," "Brigadoon," "Finian's Rainbow" and elsewhere. And, naturally, "Danny Boy." 8 p.m. next Friday and March 18, 3 p.m. March 19 at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St. $33-$99. (Also 8 p.m. Thursday at the Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane in North Bethesda. $35-$99.) bsomusic.org.

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ckaltenbach@baltsun.com

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