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Get your Irish on

St. Patty’s Day events celebrate Irish heritage

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Posted: Wednesday, March 16, 2011 4:00 am

St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, is one of those days where people from all walks of life celebrate Irish heritage with an American twist. They wear green and pinch those who do not, and occasionally drink a green beer or a pint of Guinness.

Aside from those American traditions, events will be taking place throughout Tucson and within the Northwest to honor the holiday.

On March 17, people can attend Tucson’s St. Patrick’s Day Mayor’s Luncheon at 11 a.m. at the Historic Manning House, 450 W. Paseo Redondo, in downtown Tucson. Mayor Bob Walkup’s remarks will be followed by music, step dancers and a silent auction.

Tickets are $25. For more information, call Dan Cavanagh at 743-3149.

Another way to celebrate St. Patty’s Day is to watch Irish dancer Michael Flatley’s remarkable flying feet, in 3-D no less, when “Lord of the Dance 3-D” opens March 17 for one week only in two Tucson theaters: Century El Con 20, 3601 E. Broadway Blvd., and Century Park Place 20, 5870 E. Broadway Blvd.

To purchase advance tickets, visit www.lordofthedance.com.

On Saturday, March 19, at 7 p.m., the Tucson Irish Community will sponsor an Irish/ Scottish singing session at a private home near Campbell Avenue and Prince Road. People can come sing, bring an instrument or simply come and listen. For details, call 327-6287.

People also can visit the Berger Performing Arts Center, 1200 W. Speedway Blvd., on Saturday, March 19, at 8 p.m. That’s when the Irish band Slide will perform traditional music while award-winning Irish dancers from the Tir Conaill Academy of Irish Dance will perform. Tickets are $20 for general admission and $18 for seniors. For more information, call 981-1475.

The following day from noon to 6 p.m., members of Slide will offer private music lessons for fiddle, guitar, bodhrán, flute, whistle, mandolin and four-string tenor banjo. The cost is $25 for a 25-minute lesson or $40 for a 50-minute lesson.

For more information and reservations, call Melissa at 275-2811.

At 3 p.m. on March 20, guitarist Christopher Dean will perform at the DesertView Performing Arts Center in SaddleBrooke, 39900 Clubhouse Drive. The California-based musician and storyteller will perform an instrumental musical journey from Ireland and Scotland to America.

“He tells engaging and humorous stories while weaving Celtic and American lore and history into his repertoire,” a release said. “From the familiar trinity of jigs, reels and haunting airs, to the music of Pete Seeger, Tom Paxton; Peter, Paul and Mary; Gordon Lightfoot, Bob Dylan and other exponents of the American Folk genre.”Tickets are $17 in advance or $19 at the door. Call 818-1000 for reservations or more information.

In Oro Valley, those wishing to take a hands-on approach can participate in classes offered through the Oro Valley Parks, Recreation, Library & Cultural Resources Department. People can sign up for Highlands bagpipe classes or even take part in the Scottish Highland Dancing offered on selected days for a fee.

The Oro Valley Public Library also will host a free, introductory Scottish Highland Dancing class on Thursday, March 24 from 11:30 a.m. to noon in the library’s meeting room. Elizabeth Woodward, a member of the Highland Dance Community, has been teaching for three years. Call the library to register 229-5300.

Many people associate bagpipes and Celtic dancing with both Irish and Scottish heritages. People wishing to learn more about the festive activities can register for these classes by calling the parks and recreation department at 229-5050.

Contact this reporter at rmetcalf@explorernews.com.

© 2014 The Explorer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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