The 46th annual Southern Nevada Sons of Erin St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival is gearing up for another year of green-clad events.
“Everyone is Irish for the day,” said Dona Brown, the entertainment coordinator and a member of the Sons of Erin. “Everyone loves St. Patrick’s Day.”
The Irish-themed event has been in Henderson for nearly a decade and offers entertainment and family-friendly activities on Water Street.
The celebration honors St. Patrick, who brought Christianity to the pagans and druids in Ireland.
This year’s celebration begins with a carnival from 5 to 10 p.m. Thursday at the Henderson Events Plaza, 200 S. Water St. Festivities continue from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday with entertainment and the carnival.
Las Vegas-based Irish band Finnegan’s Wake is slated to return to the stage for the second year. The band is scheduled to perform at 6 and 7:30 p.m. Friday and noon Sunday.
“I like the venue, and the Sons of Erin group is great to work with,” said Wayne Ritchie, the band’s drummer. “The whole thing is a good time.”
Finnegan’s Wake was started by Robbie Murphy, a Dublin native who sings and plays guitar .
Even though the band has changed members over the years, it has kept original members Murphy and Ritchie. The group has been around for 11 years, playing anywhere from Irish bars to private parties.
On St. Patrick’s D ay, the band is scheduled to play at three venues around Las Vegas .
The group retains the spirit, and luck, of the Irish all year at whatever event it plays.
“Every day is St. Patrick’s Day for us,” Ritchie said.
Along with entertainment, the festival is scheduled to feature a variety of food and merchandise vendors. Irish cultural activities, such as an Irish jig demonstration and whiskey tasting contest, also are planned.
“If people come to where I am, they will learn how to do the jig,” Brown said. “It is fun to watch people try.”
Entrance to the festivities is free.
The St. Patrick’s Day Parade is slated to kick off at 10 a.m. Saturday down Water Street. About 100 entries are expected to line the streets with festive floats decorated with the theme “W earin’ O’ the Green,” as well as bagpipers and Celtic dancers.
Mayor Andy Hafen is expected to be this year’s honorary grand marshal.
Parade entries have a chance to win trophies for best of theme and for the prettiest, greenest and most original floats.
For the third year, a classic car show has been scheduled from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday.
This is the second year the proceeds from the festival are slated to benefit the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a charity that focuses on childhood cancer research.
“Last year it went great,” Brown said. “We raised a lot of money, and we want to do it again this year.”
Members of the community are invited to raise money for the charity. In exchange they can have their heads shaved at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Brown said the Sons of Erin is trying to raise $2,000 to get one of the club’s members to shave his head, including his ponytail.
St. Patrick’s Day doesn’t end Saturday night. For those in need of something hearty the next day, there is the Irish Stew Cook Off. Judging for the event is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday
“We want people to make their favorite hangover stew,” Brown said. “It doesn’t even have to be Irish. It can be Mexican or whatever stew cures a hangover.”
Brown said proceeds from that event are expected to benefit charities sponsored by St. Jude’s Women’s Auxiliary, including Positively Kids and Catholic Charities Childhood Cancer.
For more information, visit hendersonlive.com or snsoe.com.
Contact Henderson/Anthem View reporter Michael Lyle at email@example.com or 387-5201.MORE CELEBRATIONS
Other St. Patrick’s Day festivities in the valley include:
The M Resort, 12300 Las Vegas Blvd. South, plans to host a whiskey-tasting party at 7 p.m. Saturday, featuring more than 70 whiskeys, beers and cocktails, a dessert bar and live entertainment. Tickets are $50 each. Call 797-1878 or visit themresort.com.
Carl Grove and his band are slated to perform for an all-ages crowd at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Charleston Heights Arts Center, 800 S. Brush St. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 on event day. Call 229-6383 or visit artslasvegas.org.
Three Square, 4220 N. Pecos Road, plans to host a bingo event at 7 p.m. Wednesday, with doors set to open at 5:30 p.m. Packages, which include drinks, raffle tickets and games, begin at $10. Call Deb Diaz at 644-3663, ext. 301, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP.
Fremont Street plans to host performances from several Irish-themed bands ranging from Finnegan’s Wake to Vegas U2 from 2:30 p.m. to 3 a.m. Saturday. Visit vegasexperience.com.
The Suncoast, 9090 Alta Drive, is slated to host the Wild Celts at 9 p.m. Saturday in its showroom. Festivities are to include a Leprechaun Star Search and a Rock Your Kilt contest. Visit suncoastcasino.com.
Brendan’s Irish Pub inside The Orleans, 4500 W. Tropicana Ave., plans to have the band Killian’s Angels perform free from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Visit orleanscasino.com.
New York-New York, 3790 Las Vegas Blvd. South, plans a Celtic Feis celebration with live music from 4 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Friday at the Nine Fine Irishmen pub and Brooklyn Bridge and from 11 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. Sunday at Nine Fine Irishmen. Saturday’s events include live music throughout the day and a parade at noon. Participants in kilts, military personnel, law enforcement officials, firefighters and emergency medical technicians receive complimentary admission Saturday. Tickets for Saturday’s events are $25 each, and admission Friday and Sunday is free before 11 p.m.
J.C. Wooloughan’s at the JW Marriott, 221 N. Rampart Blvd., plans happy hour specials from 3 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and live music in the evenings. Saturday’s events are set to begin at 10 a.m. with live music. A $20 cover charge will be charged after 3 p.m.
McMullan’s Irish Pub, 4650 W. Tropicana Ave., plans nonstop music featuring six bands on stages inside and outside from 2 p.m. until 12:30 a.m. Saturday for a $20 cover charge. Visit mcmullansirishpub.com.
Rí Rá Irish Pub at The Shoppes at Mandalay Place, 3950 Las Vegas Blvd. South, plans entertainment starting at 5 p.m. Friday. Saturday, the pub plans to open at 5:30 a.m. in preparation for the Six Nations Rugby match at 10 a.m. There is a $10 cover charge. A parade through the casino is slated at 11 a.m., and bands are expected through the evening. Visit rira.com.
The Cannery, 2121 E. Craig Road, plans to host a St. Patrick’s Day Fest featuring performances by One for the Irish Road and Dublin John at 6 p.m. and Vegas U2 at 8 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free, but all patrons must be 21 or older. Visit cannerycasino.com for details.
The Dublin Down Festival featuring the band Flogging Molly is scheduled to kick off Friday with a party in the Thomas & Mack Center’s plaza at 3 p.m. followed by a concert in the Thomas & Mack Center at 6:45 p.m. Tickets are $24.50. Visit unlvtickets.com.