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IN STEP WITH THE IRISH Parade tops list of St. Patrick's Day events this weekend


Whether your tastes range from a fun run to a fashion show, dancing a jig or watching a parade, the entertainment offerings around Baltimore this St. Patrick's Day weekend will keep you hopping with the leprechauns.

The main event, as always, will be the St. Patrick's Day parade Sunday starting at 2 p.m. Sponsored by the Ancient Order of the Hibernians, the parade will feature more than 100 marching units with about 5,000 participants. Sister Kathleen Feeley, president of the College of Notre Dame, is honorary Grand Marshal, with Baltimore businessman Frank X. Gartland serving as Grand Marshal.

The event begins at the Washington Monument, proceeds south on Charles Street, then east on Pratt Street to Market Place.

Before the parade, the fourth annual 5K Shamrock Run will be held at 1:30 p.m. beginning at the Lyric Opera House on Mount Royal Avenue. Prizes include a trip to Ireland, cash and T-shirts. For information or applications, call 882-5455.

The Hibernians are also sponsoring a St. Patrick's Day Dinner-Dance tomorrow from 7 p.m. until midnight at the Annapolis Ramada Inn. Tickets are $30 apiece, and include a cocktail hour, buffet dinner, a Waterford crystal door prize, music by the Irish band Bersersetalis, and a sing-along of Irish songs. A trip for two to Ireland will also be raffled off. Proceeds will support the Irish Children's Program, which brings Catholic and Protestant children from Ireland together each summer in Baltimore. Call 269-6687 for tickets.

If you've got pointy ears, or maybe just a mischievous demeanor, you might want to take part in the Leprechaun Look-Alike Contest, set for noon today at Broadway Market Square in Fells Point.

The Lexington Market has events planned for the entire weekend with live Irish music and folk dancing presented today from noon to 2 p.m. on the arcade stage. Tomorrow from 1-3 p.m. at the same location, children can meet Lucky the Leprechaun and make St. Patrick's Day crafts. All events are free.

Many Irish-themed or -named bars and pubs throughout the area have special plans for the weekend, including McGinn's at 328 N. Charles St., where Scott McNinney will offer Irish music and a sing-along on the piano (see Night life review, page 5).

Kavanagh's, at 311 W. Madison St., will offer corned beef and cabbage and a deejay from Ireland spinning Irish folk tunes following the parade downtown on Sunday. New Monoghan's Pub, 2121 Gwynn Oak Ave., also will feature corned beef and cabbage, a deejay playing Irish music as well as a bagpipe player on Sunday afternoon.

Shannon's, at 3020 Elliott St., will feature green beer, giveaways, corned beef and cabbage, lamb stew and Irish music all weekend. The Irish Pub, located at 249 W. Chase St., likewise will feature Irish food and music all weekend.

If you're up early Sunday morning, the Gandy Dancer, at 1300 McHenry St., will be open on Sunday at 9 a.m (it's open till 2 a.m.). The bar features Irish food and folk dancing.

Danny Nolan's Irish Saloon in Elkridge is also gearing up for the festivities. Located at 6000 Washington Blvd., the pub will offer corned beef and cabbage and Irish songs all day on Sunday. Friday and Saturday nights, piano players will entertain the crowd until closing at 2 a.m. The bar will open at 8:30 a.m. all three days.

The Cat's Eye Pub at 1730 Thames St. will have a back-yard barbeque this weekend featuring ribs and roast beef, as well as the classic corned beef and cabbage. The Irish band, Dogs Among the Bushes, will perform Saturday night and Sunday. The pub's owners say, however, that this is not "traditional" Irish music.

You won't hear Irish music at the Baltimore Blues Society's "St. Paddy's Day Pot o' Blues Blowout" beginning at 6 p.m. at the 8x10 Club, 8 E. Cross St. The BBS will launch its third annual Amateur Blues Talent Contest, with the showdown featuring the Delta Devils, A.L. James and Spare Change, the House Rockers, James Waldman and Steve Kramer. The competition will continue on succeeding Sundays with winner advancing to the national finals in Memphis, Tenn. Admis- sion/donation is $2, $1 for BBS members.

If toasting the holiday in a quieter fashion is more your style, the International Federation of Catholic Alumnae is having their annual St. Patrick's Day Luncheon and Fashion Show tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. at the Turf Valley Hotel & Country Club. Tickets are $19, and reservations are required. All proceeds benefit programs for the mentally retarded and the blind. Call 744-3331 or 744-2917 for information or reservations.

The Colonnade, at 4 W. University Parkway, has scheduled Irish music and poetry readings on Sunday afternoon from 2:30-4:30 p.m. The Boar's Head Consort will present a medley of classical Irish music and folk songs along with poetry readings. The performance is free and guests will be treated to complimentary hors d'oeuvres after the musical. For more information, call 235-5556.

What about the kids? Well, to get them in the mood for the parade, the Walters Art Gallery will present resident storyteller Rachmiel Tobesman in a program titled "Storytelling: Lucky Charms and Leprechauns" Sunday at 1:30 p.m. in the museum's Majolica Gallery. The magical tales of elves and leprechauns are recommended for children age 5 and over, and the lecture is free with admission to the museum. Children are admitted free to the Walters. For more information, call 547-9000, Ext. 237 or 300. The Cloisters Children's Museum will present entertainer Eileen O'Grady at 2 p.m. Sunday. Irish songs, dances and stories will be presented. Tickets are $4, $3 for members. Call 823-2551 for details.

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