This is the weekend we begin civic celebrations of immigrant refugees who fled a history of starvation, religious persecution, civil war, assassinations, bombings and random violence that claimed men, women and children, and whose arrival in America was met with social unrest, more violence, slurs, language barriers, faith-based prejudice, and job and housing discrimination. As the help-wanted ads of the time unapologetically declared: No Irish need apply. The 1850s version of “Go back to your country.”
But we’re all good now. See how that works?
In longstanding South Florida tradition, many local cities will throw their St. Patrick’s Day parties early to allow access to entertainers, for instance the famed New York Emerald Society Pipe and Drum Corps, who may be booked at high-profile parties in New York, Boston and Chicago on the day itself, March 17. Which means we get two St. Patrick’s Day weekends. That much “sláinte” might leave you slanted.
The 49th annual St. Patrick’s Day parade and festival in Delray Beach includes entertainment, food and drink on Old School Square and Atlantic Avenue 5-10 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, with a fun run at 11 a.m. and the parade at noon. Gaelic Brew, from County Cork, will be among the Saturday entertainers at 2 p.m. Info: StPatrickMarch.com. Afterparty: Tim Finnegan’s Irish Pub, where Gaelic Brew is down for another set at 6 p.m. (TimFinnegansIrishPub.com).
Festivities begin in Fort Lauderdale at 7:30 a.m. Saturday with the Shamrock 4-Miler run, followed by the Leprechaun Dash for kids. The Joe Dougherty Band kicks off the entertainment at 9 a.m. in Huizenga Park, with the annual parade at noon, followed by the green-tinted insanity of the post-parade party spilling over into Riverfront and culminating with a 5:30 p.m. performance by the tribute band U2 By UV. Info: Facebook.com/StPatsFtL. Afterparty: Royal Pig Pub, where they’re selling signature St. Pat’s shirts (Facebook.com/RoyalPigPub).
The city of Hollywood and Hibernians of Hollywood are throwing their annual celebration noon-6 p.m. Sunday, with the float-filled parade at noon highlighted by the NYPD Emerald Society Pipe and Drum Corps. A stage at Hollywood Boulevard and 19th Avenue will be home to the Joe Dougherty Band and U2 by UV. Info: StPatricksParade.com. Afterparty: Mickey Byrne’s Irish Pub and Restaurant. As always, they will not be messing around (MickeyByrnes.com).
Looking ahead, major South Florida celebrations on St. Patrick’s Day proper are scheduled at the Dubliner in Boca Raton, where the March 17 block party begins at 11 a.m. (Facebook.com/DublinerBoca); in downtown Fort Lauderdale’s Himmarshee District, with a block party beginning at 4 p.m. March 17 (Facebook.com/TarponBendLauderdale); at the Field in Hollywood, beginning at 11 a.m. March 17 (TheFieldFL.com); and at Fado Irish Pub in Miami’s Mary Brickell Village at 5 p.m. March 17 ($10; FadoIrishPub/Miami).
Perhaps the biggest celebration of immigrant culture in America, the Calle Ocho festival returns to Miami’s Little Havana on Sunday with a nod to an American tradition, overeating. El Croquetazo is a croqueta-eating contest with $3,500 in prizes at stake, $1,750 to the winner of the 5 p.m. final. You have no shot at the money or the crown, as the event has drawn the attention of reigning Nathan’s hotdog-eating champ Joey “Jaws” Chestnut, with a Major League Eating title on the line. An amateur contest with a $300 first-place prize is 1-2 p.m., with a celebrity event 3-4 p.m. The 40th annual Calle Ocho festival takes place 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday on Southwest Eighth Street between Southwest 12th and 27th avenues, with multiple stages of entertainment led by CNCO. Admission is free. Info: CarnavalMiami.com.
GUINNESS CUPCAKE, ANYONE?
You inject the St. Patrick’s Day spirit where you can: Through March 17, Angelo Elia The Bakery Bar (2104 E. Oakland Park Blvd., Fort Lauderdale) is offering Guinness cupcakes for $4 a pop. The treats are infused with chocolate and Guinness, topped with cream cheese icing and dipped in chocolate ganache. Something different to bring to the party next weekend. Info: AngeloEliaBakery.com.
A daughter of Flint, Mich., comedian, actor, radio host and cultural gadfly Sandra Bernhard says the goal of her comedy tour is to “find the soul of America.” Clearly, something has been lost. Bernhard performs 8 p.m. Saturday at the Casino at Dania Beach. Tickets: $25-$75. Info: CasinoDaniaBeach.com.
On her way to SXSW in a few days, rising singer-songwriter Emily Estefan (daughter of Gloria and Emilio) will be among the guest artists taking the stage during the free Miami Symphony Orchestra Pop-Up Series, which returns to Palm Court (140 NE 39th St.) in Miami’s Design District 5-8 p.m. Friday. Last month, Estefan’s eclectic collection of jazzy neo-soul, “Take Whatever You Want,” debuted in the top 100 on Billboard’s Indie and R&B album charts. Admission and parking are free, and there’s a cash bar. Info: TheMiSO.org, TheOfficialEmilyEstefan.com.
More strong women (and men) of a different sort will perform on South Beach sand at Eighth and Ocean during the annual Hawkers Model Beach Volleyball tournament, a 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday co-ed competition among 16 top Miami Beach agencies. The event, free and open to the public, benefits Jack Brewer Foundation (JBFWorldwide.org), created by a former NFL player to help women and children in underdeveloped communities with education, health issues and food security. Celebrity drop-ins have been part of the deal at Model Beach Volleyball, from Sports Illustrated swimsuit models such as Nina Agdal (a regular) to Jamie Foxx, DNCE, Calvin Klein, Cedric the Entertainer and actor James Marsden. Up-and-coming Miami vocal duo XAXO will perform on Saturday. For VIP tickets (starting at $300) and more information, visit: ModelBeachVolleyball.com.
WINGS AND THINGS
Because you need to know these things, be aware that local Hooters Girls will be competing in South Florida swimsuit competitions Thursday and Friday, the first step toward a spot in the 21st annual Hooters International Swimsuit Pageant in July in Las Vegas. Last year the Las Vegas finals were won by Sable Jade Robbert, whose road to the crown, the cover of the annual Hooters calendar and $30,000 began in Pembroke Pines. Hosted by Robbert, the local competitions are 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Hooters of Doral (8695 NW 13th Terrace, Miami) and 8 p.m. Friday at Hooters of Pembroke Pines (7990 Pines Blvd.). Admission is free. Info: Facebook.com/SouthFloridaHooters.
CARS AND TRUCKS
I have a couple of buddies who could have mentioned the second-Friday 4x4 Night at Fort Lauderdale’s Riverside Market South, hosted by the Black Dragon Crew, devoted to off-roading, mud-slinging knob heads of all kinds. Beginning at 6 p.m., you and your truck get 10 percent off. Info: Facebook.com/RiversideMarketSouth. At 9 a.m. Sunday, owners of vintage, exotic and super-fast cars will gather in Fort Lauderdale’s FAT Village Arts District for Cars, Art & Caffeine, which includes an 11:30 a.m. lunch procession to the Tiled Kilt in Boca Raton. The event benefits the Hollywood-based anti-child-trafficking group Phantom Rescue. Info: FATVillage.com, PhantomRescue.org.
Not the green kind, the better kind you’ll find at Copperpoint Brewing in Boynton Beach, which will throw its inaugural BBQ Beer Bash 2 p.m. Saturday, a competition between Smokin’ Pete’s Barbecue, Troy's Bar-Be-Que and Stash Box BBQ Co. food trucks. Hourly timed beer releases will happen 3-6 p.m. (Sweet Tea Lager, Cherry Sour, Oak-aged B-20 and Smoked Oyster Stout), along with live music and a cornhole competition (the $10 entry includes two beers). Info: Facebook.com/CopperpointBrewingCo.
TAKE THE KIDS
The free Screen on the Green movie series on the Great Lawn at the waterfront in West Palm Beach, now spring-training home to Houston Astros and Washington Nationals, will show the women’s baseball yarn “A League of Their Own” 8 p.m. Friday. Yes, there is a concession stand. Info: WPB.org. The Moonlit Movies series returns to Jaco Pastorius Park in Oakland Park on Saturday with field games and family contests beginning at 3 p.m., food from PDQ and another plucky, resourceful female in the Disney/Pixar hit “Finding Dory” at sunset (around 6:30 p.m.) on the park’s 40-foot outdoor theater system. Info: OaklandParkFl.gov.
OTHER VOICES, OTHER ROOMS
The free, weekly Friday Night Sound Waves series at the Hub on Fort Lauderdale beach (Las Olas and A1A) kicks off its 2017 season with funk-soul brothers Pocket Change at 6 p.m. Friday (FridayNightSoundWaves.com) … Young Hollywood duo Steeltown Religion plays 8 p.m. Friday at Greenacres Community Park during Salute to Spring concerts Friday-Saturday (Facebook.com/SteelReligion) … Zack Jones of the Gravel Kings brings his rewarding solo-acoustic thing to Copper Blues at CityPlace in West Palm Beach 5 p.m. Friday (ZackJonesMusic.com) … Supremely talented jazz guitarist Randy Bernsen plays LauderAle in Fort Lauderdale 7:30 p.m. Friday (RandyBernsen.com, Facebook.com/LauderAle) … The Boca Raton tribute band Unlimited Devotion will play the Florida Panthers’ Grateful Dead Night 2 pregame party beginning at 5:30 p.m. Friday, before the Panthers’ 7:30 p.m match against the Minnesota Wild, at the BB&T Center in Sunrise (Facebook.com/UDMusic) … Astari Nite will show off the new video for “Lovesick” with a performance 10 p.m. Saturday at Churchill’s Pub in Miami (Facebook.com/AstariNiteMusic).