It’s a weekend for Irish celebration. St. Patrick’s Day officially lands on Monday, but the festivities start early this weekend. Up in Bath, there’s four days of entertainment – from a road race and parade to Irish tunes in the locals bars – during Blarney Days. The Portland St. Patrick’s Day Parade is Sunday, and the annual plunge is early Monday (more St. Patrick’s Day events in our guide). But amid all the Irish revelry, make room for a pirate cruise and a race upon a mattress.
For the weekend of March 14-16:
6 pm Friday | Aboard Casco Bay Lines, Portland | $25 | www.cascobaylines.com
Unleash your inner buccaneer and harken back to Casco Bay cruises of yesteryear (like when it was warmer) during the pirate-themed Inter-Island Cruise. It’s a fine tour of Casco Bay with the added perks of food from the Inn on Peaks island (which means you can leave the island pillaging for another time). Instead, have a drink and dance it up to the music of The Delta Knights.
1 pm Saturday | Shawnee Peak, Bridgton | $5 “mattress fee” plus a lift ticket or season pass | www.shawneepeak.com
Design and decorate your old twin, full, double, queen or king, race it down our course and you’ll be eligible for a brand-new King-sized mattress from Americas Mattress & Furniture Gallery – See more at: http://www.shawneepeak.com/mountain/shawnee-peak-events/35/#sthash.2DltP4w8.dpuf
Friday through Monday | Downtown Bath | Most events are free | 442-7291 | visitbath.com
Blarney Days are back with four days of festivities, including a 5K Shamrock Sprint, a parade, a tug-o-war contest, an Irish soda bread contest, Blarney pub crawl, Irish poetry reading, live music, and celebrations at downtown pubs and restaurants. // more info
Noon Sunday | Commercial Street, Portland | Free | www.irishofmaine.org
Commercial Street goes green on Sunday! The Irish American Club honors their patron saint and the Irish-American community in Greater Portland with an annual parade. Expect pipe bands, Irish stepdancers, local dignitaries and the flags of all the counties of Ireland. // more info
Noon Sunday | Starts at Thornton Academy, Saco | Raise donations | maryswalk.org
Mary’s Walk is held in conjunction with the Kerrymen Pub 5K and has raised over $1.8 million for the Maine Cancer Foundation. After your speedy run or spirited walk, head over to Kerrymen Pub for awards and a bunch of food (and hey, if you end up inside for a pint and some live music, no one will judge).
5:30 am Monday | East End Beach, Portland | Raise donations | eburnsurvivors.org
Plunge for good! All donations will benefit the Children’s Burn Foundation. Afterwards, all participating plungers can head to RiRa for a free breakfast buffet and a charity auction. That water might be cold, but bodies are quickly warmed with Guinness.
Celebrate Ireland, Irish food, Irish drink, and Irish-Americans this St. Patrick’s Day. There’s plenty of Irish music and revelry at Irish pubs around southern Maine, as well as the annual St. Patrick’s Day Plunge, St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Shamrock Shuffle bar crawl and scavenger hunt, Blarney Days, and plenty more going on all weekend and Monday.