Going Green

We call this: "Spot the Gig and Take a Swig, But Hail the Host with an Irish Toast."

It works this way: Read the story, find a fun event for St. Patrick’s weekend, hoist your glass and make sure every lusty swallow of ale is washed down with a jaunty Irish blessing. Something like this:

"May the winds of fortune sail you, may you sail a gentle sea; May it always be the other guy who says, ‘This drink’s on me.’ " Then clink your mugs and drink your suds. Go ahead, try it out. … That’s right. … You’ve done this before, haven’t you? Fine, now top off your tankard — pretty quick-draw with a draft, aren’t you, Shamus? — and let’s see what turns Las Vegas into the Emerald Desert this weekend.

• This one’s certainly worth a beer and a cheer: Henderson’s 42nd annual Southern Nevada Sons of Erin St. Patrick’s Day Parade, starting 10 a.m. Saturday.

Ellie Smith, that adorable, 11-year-old "Star-Spangled Girl" — so nicknamed for performing the National Anthem at sporting events — is grand-marshaling along with The Scintas. Putting an Italian spin on Irish pride, the variety-show vets have family pal Peter O’Donnell — who rounds out the act with Joe, Frank and Chrissi Scinta — lending them a shamrock sheen.

With more than a hundred entries, including bagpipes, marching band and floats, the parade steps off from Water Street and Ocean Avenue, climaxing at Victory Road.

That calls for some brew and some blarney: "As you slide down the banister of life, may the splinters never point in the wrong direction!" Clink and drink!

• The parade’s the centerpiece of a free, weekend-spanning St. Paddy’s festival at the Henderson Events Plaza today through Monday — an Irish stew of carnival rides, live entertainment, car show, authentic ethnic food, beer garden and vending booths.

So let’s try another pearl of pub philosophy:

"It is better to spend money like there’s no tomorrow than to spend tonight like there’s no money!" Clink and drink!

• Need to nourish the little leprechaun within, perhaps by consuming a jiggly, gelatinous substance? Head over to Fitzgeralds from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday for leprechaun look-alike and green Jell-O-eating contests (301 Fremont St.; 388-2400).

That’s another reason to raise a stein: "Here’s to living single, drinking double and seeing triple!" Clink and drink!

• Jonseing for a jig? Grab whatever green garb’s in your closet and wear it proudly to the St. Patrick’s Day Dance at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Charleston Heights Arts Center just $10 in advance and $12 at the door (800 Brush St.; 229-6383).

Surely that’s worth another sip and salute: "May we get what we want, may we get what we need, but may we never get what we deserve!" Clink and drink!

• It won’t cost much green to roam the scene at Fremont Street, where The Experience goes Irish from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday and Monday with live entertainment, plus food and drink specials … and that reminds us: "May you die in bed at 95 years, shot by a jealous husband (or wife)!" Clink and drink!

• If you can divert $22 from your bar budget, the "Mix 94.1 FM St. Paddy’s Eve Bash" pours the Young Dubliners, the Fenians, Brother and Wild Celts into a musical cocktail on the stage of the Hard Rock Hotel at 7 p.m. Sunday (4455 Paradise Road; 693-5000).

And now, more words to imbibe by: "Here’s to a long life, and a merry one; a quick death, and an easy one; a pretty girl, and an honest one; a cold beer — and another one!" Clink and drink!

• Keep a smilin’ Irish eye out for some St. Paddy booty when children 12-17 split into teams to uncover a pot of gold in a free event at 5:30 p.m. today at the Gibson Library (280 S. Water St.; 565-8402). Winners get prizes, another fine reason to gush wisdom and guzzle spirits: "May the Good Lord take a liking to you — but not too soon!" Clink and drink!

• Where to do all this clinking and drinking? There are enough Irish watering holes in town — from Brendan’s (The Orleans) to J.C. Wooloughan (JW Marriott) to Jack’s (Palace Station) to McMullan’s (4650 W. Tropicana Ave.) — to transform Las Vegas into the Neon Shamrock.

You know what? That calls for a toast: "Here’s to you and yours, and to mine and ours. And if mine and ours ever come across you and yours, I hope you and yours will do as much for mine and ours as mine and ours have done for you and yours."

That makes sense to you? Summon your designated driver. You’ve had enough.

Contact reporter Steve Bornfeld at sbornfeld@reviewjournal.com or (702) 383-0256.

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