No need to wait until St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, to wear green. Seattle’s big Irish Festival, hosted by the Irish Heritage Club, kicks off the festivities this weekend, March 10-12. If Irish Setters and other canines are more to your liking, the Seattle Kennel Club Dog Show also takes place this weekend.

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No need to wait until St. Patrick’s Day, March 17. Seattle’s big Irish Festival, hosted by the Irish Heritage Club, kicks off the festivities this weekend, March 10-12.

On Friday, March 10, events start in South Lake Union Park with a re-enacting of St. Patrick’s arrival in Ireland after his capture by Irish pirates 1,600 years ago. Afterward, all are invited to join in a mini-parade down Fourth Avenue for the laying of the green stripe to mark the route of Saturday’s parade.

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Saturday, March 11, features Grand Marshal Timothy Egan, author of eight books including “The Immortal Irishman,” about the adventures of Irish patriot Thomas Francis Meagher, who emigrated to America and led the renowned Irish Brigade in the Civil War. Organized groups and anyone carrying banners need to be preregistered for the parade, but individuals are encouraged to take part without preregistration, joining in along with the parade’s Irish dancers, bagpipe bands, Irish community groups, marching bands, drill teams, Seafair clowns and pirates. After passing the reviewing stand at Westlake Park, parade participants ride the Monorail to Seattle Center for closing ceremonies.

Irish Week

Friday events: St. Patrick’s landing at South Lake Union near MOHAI, 6 p.m. Friday, March 10; free shuttle, kids welcome, from F.X. McRory’s to South Lake Union, 5 p.m., returning to McRory’s by 6:30 p.m. Friday for the Green Stripe Laying.

Parade: 12:30 p.m. Saturday, March 11, Fourth Avenue from Jefferson Street to Westlake Park, Seattle.

Festival: noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, March 11-12, Seattle Center Armory, Seattle.


St. Patrick’s Day Dash

Time: 8:30 a.m. Sunday, March 12.

Location: Seattle Center, Seattle.


Seattle Kennel Club Dog Show

Time: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, March 11-12.

Cost: $14/adult, $12/military with ID and ages 62 and older; $7/ages 4-14; ages 3 and younger free.

Location: CenturyLink Field Event Center, 800 Occidental Ave. S., Seattle.


The Irish Festival fills Seattle Center Armory with Irish music, singing, dancing, workshops, lectures, art and cultural displays, and Irish and Celtic vendors on Saturday and Sunday, March 11-12. Popular attractions include Irish stepdancers, “Smilingest Irish Eyes” and “Most Irish-Looking Face” contests for kids (Irish heritage not required), and the Irish Reels Film Festival of contemporary Irish short films.

On Sunday, March 12, the St. Patrick’s Day Dash 5k run, walk and jog includes a costume contest and Post Dash Bash, with proceeds to benefit the Detlef Schrempf Foundation’s support of local children’s charities. There’s no day-of-race registration for the popular event; Saturday is the last day to register.

Also this weekend, the Seattle Kennel Club Dog Show hosts 1,800 dogs vying for Best in Show, and legions of their human fans, on Saturday and Sunday, March 11-12, at CenturyLink Field Event Center. The event also features agility and obedience competitions, and Olympic Disc Dog, Emerald City K-9 Freestyle Dancers, fly ball and other demonstrations and entertainment. If you’re considering adding a new dog to your family, dozens of breed clubs and rescue groups will be on hand to share information. Only preregistered, participating dogs are allowed into the show, but an array of dog-related vendors encourage visitors to buy something to take home for their canine best friends.

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