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Originally published Wednesday, March 10, 2010 at 7:05 PM

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Parade, party or dash for St. Patrick's Day

A roundup of 2010 St. Patrick's Day events around Seattle and Western Washington.

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The world celebration of corned beef, soda bread and all things green isn't officially until March 17 — next Wednesday — but most local St. Patrick's Day festivities are this weekend, and such celebrations are spreading like spilled Guinness, with three parades in the region.

Seattle's high jinks begin Friday evening at 7 with the laying of a green stripe of paint along Fourth Avenue to mark the route of Saturday's parade. Stripe painters will gather beforehand at F.X. McRory's in Pioneer Square (see "spilled Guinness" reference), and will finish with a céili dance in Westlake Park.

Saturday's parade in Seattle is at 12:30 p.m., on Fourth Avenue from Jefferson Street to Westlake Park (Fourth and Pine). Anyone is invited to walk in the parade; if you have Irish heritage, you can follow banners representing various provinces. Other parades in the region: 11:30 a.m. Saturday in downtown Bremerton, or noon Saturday in downtown Bellingham.

Saturday and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. at Seattle Center's Center House, a free Irish Festival features music, dancing, contests, exhibits, vendors, a film festival and more. More dancers perform from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, to mark St. Patrick's Day.

Sunday, burn off that beer belly in the St. Patrick's Day Dash, which traditionally features runners in elaborately green get-ups (with a costume contest). It's also based at Seattle Center, with events starting at 8 a.m. at Third Avenue and Mercer Street. And don't worry about withering away from calorie depletion: A post-dash bash features music, food and a beer garden.

For details on all of these events, search our Weekend Calendar for "St. Patrick's Day" or see NWWeekend in the print edition of Thursday's Seattle Times.

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