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Roundup: 2013 St. Patrick's Day festivities

Thursday - 3/14/2013, 12:44pm  ET

Participants ride in the 2012 St. Patrick's Parade of Washington D.C. (Courtesy of St. Patrick's Parade Committee of Washington D.C.)

Hoai-Tran Bui, special to

WASHINGTON - St. Patrick's Day may not be a legal holiday anywhere in the United States, but it is certainly one of the most fervently and wildly celebrated by beer-guzzling youths.

The holiday, which started as a celebration of the merging of Irish and American culture, has now become a celebration of beer culture. In the notoriously tightly wound city of Washington D.C., St. Patrick's Day offers residents a rare chance to cut loose.

Here are some St. Paddy's events happening around the capital:

National Shamrock Fest
Date: Saturday, March 16
Location: RFK Stadium
Time: 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Cost: General admission $29.99, VIP $84.99

Shamrock Fest is D.C.'s biggest St. Patrick's Day celebration. The annual St. Patrick's Day Festival, ranked by Beer Taste Magazine as the third best St. Paddy's Day festival in the United States according to organizers, features more than 40 bands and DJ's, 15 party areas, a Washington Nationals interactive experience area and massive amounts of beer. The festival has been one of the D.C. mainstays for St. Patrick's Day for 13 years and continues to attract thousands of young partygoers clad in green hats and leprechaun costumes.

Shamrocks & Shenanigans
Date: March 16-17
Location: Rumors at 19th and M St. NW, Washington D.C.
Time: Saturday from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m, Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 a.m.

Co-sponsored by Coors Light and Lindy Promotions, the 14th annual "Shamrocks and Shenanigans" St. Patrick's Day celebration is held at Rumors, which doubles as a restaurant and nightclub. The 21+ event features Irish music by the ShamRogues, Irish celtic dancers and even bagpipers. The event is offering drink specials all weekend as well as prizes for the most festive Irish costume.

Shamrock 5K Fun Run/Walk
Date: Sunday, March 17
Location: East Potomac Park, 900 Ohio Drive SW, Washington D.C.
Time: 8 a.m.
Cost: $35 registration fee

The Shamrock 5K Fun Run/Walk offers runners a scenic route through the East Potomac Park. The family-friendly run features music before, during and after the race and includes post-race snacks and beverages. The run finishes at Hains Point. Children ages 12 and up are encouraged to run.

Shaw Street Festival
Date: March 17
Location: 6th St. NW between Florida Ave and S St. Washington D.C.
Time: 11 a.m. to 5p.m.
Cost: Free

Hosted by Shaw's Tavern, the first annual Shaw's Community St. Patrick's Day Festival will feature live music by local bluegrass, Irish and jazz musicians as well as Irish step dancers from the Boyle School of Irish Dance. The event is kid-friendly, with a rock climbing wall, face painter and balloon artist available to entertain. Adults will be provided with extended beer garden, including green beer and traditional Irish fare.

D.C. Saint Patrick's Day Parade
Date: Sunday, March 17
Location: Along Constitution Avenue 7th to 17th Streets NW
Time: Noon to 3 p.m.

The Washington D.C. Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade is going into its 42nd year. Held by the Irish American Club in cooperation with the National Capital Park service, the two and a half hour parade features more than 100 marching bands, military units, dance schools, floats and countless organizations. Admiral Mike Mullen will be this year's Grand Marshal, and John Joseph Kelly was selected as the Gael of the Year for his service to the Irish community.

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