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5 Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day

St. Paddy's Day is not just about drinking green beer. The greater Bradenton area has a ton of events, from a parade on Anna Maria Island to a pub crawl in the city's downtown.

Bradenton is putting on the Irish like few other communites, where St. Patrick's Day is really St. Patrick's weekend Events aren't just limited to what's on tap at the bars. (See the Patch Calendar for complete listings.)

Here are five things going on around Bradenton, according to The Bradenton Herald, which is offering a St. Patrick's Day Planner:

1.) The Fourteenth Annual Anna Maria Island St. Patrick's Day Parade
starts at 4 p.m. Sunday at Holmes Beach City Hall and ends at North Palm Drive at 78th Street. In between, there will be music from marching bands and Irish pipe bands, as well as floats and more than a few leprechauns. Food vendors will set up booths next to City Hall beginning at 11 a.m.

2.) An Irish Celtic Festival, at Central Park, Lakewood Ranch, is a Saturday event for the entire family. There will be music, food, dancers and bagpipers, as well as kids activities and crafts. Hours are 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

3.) , holds its 13th annual bash beginning at noon on Sunday, with music, corned beef and cabbage, sports on TV. There will be a contest for best Irish costume, with a $50 prize and, of course, plenty of beer, whiskey shots and Irish coffee.

4.) The Shamrock 5K Run/Walk and Pub Crawl on Old Main Street mixes fitness, family fun and beer at the end of the day for the grownups! The day starts with kids races at 2 p.m. Sunday, followed by a 5K run at 3:30 p.m. and a one mile-fitness walk and doggie run. The post-race party begins at 6 p.m. on Old Main Street in downtown Bradenton, with outdoor live music from the band Big Daddy. The race benefits the Women's Resource Center and The Foundation for Dreams. Register online at www.active.com.

5.) , will rock with Irish music. Hit Aces Live on Sunday night for live music from Trevor Bystrom, Koko Ray, Tangled Mango and Wikked Jester. Corned beef and cabbage will be served. It's all for a good cause: There will be prize drawings, a silent auction and 50/50 proceeds to benefit Manatee Children's Services.

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