Thousands upon thousands will gather around the Skypoint landmark in downtown Billings this Saturday, March 16th for the 41st annual St Patrick's Day Parade and Celtic Fair.  The only solid dress code for this party is Green.  I don't mean teal, I don't mean pale mint.  I mean vibrant emerald, perfect lawn, golf course, shamrock Green.

You know what happens if you don't wear any...

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Hosted by the Downtown Billings Association and Hooligan's Sports Bar, the morning starts at 10 with the Celtic Fair around Skypoint and along 2nd Avenue N.  Green swag, face painting, and craft vendors will be there.  Better eat before tackling the green beer, so I'm a Cravin' Bar-B-Que and Montana Melt are there to fuel you up for the festivities.  Stage performers including Claddagh Irish Dance Academy and Slainte Traditional Irish Music Session will be nearby to warm up the crowd and entertain throughout the Fair.

At 11, the St. Patrick's Day Parade begins.  Best places to see it all?  Anywhere along 2nd Avenue N and 3rd Avenue N between N 32nd Street and N 28th Street, aka Broadway.  The route is a long U shape and includes 28th for a block.  The creativity comes out from businesses and organizations, and they can win awards and bragging rights such as Best Float, Most Original Entry and Best Interpretation of the Theme.

Credit: vadimguzhva; Getty Images; TSM Media Center
Credit: vadimguzhva; Getty Images; TSM Media Center

After the Parade, the Street Party ramps up to full speed, filling all of N Broadway between 1st and 2nd Avenue N.  The stage will be set with live music from the Repeat Offenders.

If you need a little exercise to burn the calories, there will be cornhole, laser tag and hammerschlagen on 2nd Avenue, west of Skypoint.  What is hammerschlagen?  Had to look it up.  It's competitive nail-driving into wood.

So have a good and safe St. Patrick's Day.  During the parade, no candy or handouts will be passed out.  Please designate a sober driver or be ready for a cab ride home.  Everyone will love to see you Monday morning (even hungover).

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