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Wander Minnesota: Celebrating March

Granted, March is lighter in festival offerings than other months. It’s a tough time of year—it might be 60 degrees outside, and it might be -30. Nevertheless, the month of March has a much-beloved annual holiday celebrating a famous saint. Oh, and there’s St. Patrick’s Day, too.

Twin Cities
St. Patrick’s Day festivities
We do love us some Irish whooping it up in the Twin Cities.
O’Gara’s in St. Paul has a full day of events, including the world’s shortest parade. Speaking of parades, St. Patrick’s Day parades will take place in St. Paul at noon; in Minneapolis, the parade starts at 7:30 p.m.

And, to make your St. Patty’s Day celebration even better, Metro Transit
(along with the Minnesota Valley Transit Authority, Southwest Transit, and Plymouth Metrolink) is offering free bus rides from 6 p.m. through 3 a.m. 3/17. Drink all the green beer you want, and keep yourself and others safe.

Besides St. Patrick’s, here’s an idea of what’s going on around the state.

Plymouth
The Winter Bluegrass Weekend is on March 3-5. Forget the cold outdoors. Warm up with lively bluegrass stage shows, instrument exhibits, dance workshops, even informal jam sessions.

New Ulm
Take a drive to New Ulm on March 4 for Schell’s Bock Fest, a rousing celebration of winter on the Schell’s Brewery grounds

Burnsville
Subway’s annual Bedrace for Bridging takes place March 4. Get your team of four (18 and over, please) and take part in mattress racing down the tube hill at Buck Hill (mattresses provided). Dress up—there’s a costume contest. And a concert. The best part: proceeds go to Bridging, a local nonprofit that provides home goods (including beds) to families in need.

Wabasha
Wabasha’s beautiful National Eagle Center is host to Soar With the Eagles, taking place March 4-5, 11-12, 18-19, and 25-26. These are weekends of everything eagle: river tours, book signings, talks from American Indians, naturalists, nature photographers, naturalists, veterans, river boat captains, speakers from the DNR Fisheries and River Ecology departments, and master falconers.

Houston
The International Festival of Owls takes place March 3-5. Owl calling, nest box building, foreign and native owl exhibits and discussions, pellet examinations, birding and natural history trip, pizza parties, kids’ activities—who knew owls could be so much fun?

Moorhead
The 14th annual Celtic Festival takes place March 11, with live music, storytelling, dancing, bagpipes, and plenty of Celtic food and hands-on activities. The festival takes place at the Hjemkomst Center, well worth a visit by itself.

Finland
St. Urho’s Daysa, a festival celebrating a faux saint who is said to have driven all the grasshoppers out of Finland (the country) and saved the grape crops, thus preserving the jobs of vineyard workers, takes place March 17-19 this year. Suspiciously, the official St. Urho’s Day is actually March 18, the day after that other saint’s day.

What else is happening in our state? Be sure to check out the 10 p.m. Sunday night WCCO newscasts, where you can learn more in the weekly segment, Finding Minnesota.

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