By Amy Rea

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.

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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, now in its 50th year on this side of the river, starts at 6:30 p.m.

And, to make your St. Patty’s Day celebration even better, Metro Transit (along with the Minnesota Valley Transit Authority) 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.

Festival of Owls
March 2-4
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?

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Winter Bluegrass Weekend
March 2-4
Forget the cold outdoors. Warm up with lively bluegrass stage shows, instrument exhibits, dance workshops, even informal jam sessions.

New Ulm
Schell’s Bock Fest
March 3
Take a drive to New Ulm on March 3 for a rousing celebration of winter on the Schell’s Brewery grounds

Soar with the Eagles
March 3-4, 10-11, 17-18, 24-25
Now in its 25th ytear. 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.

Subway Bed Race
March 10
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.

Celtic Festival
March 10
Live music, storytelling, dancing, bagpipes, and plenty of Celtic food and hands-on activities. The festival takes place at the beautiful Hjemkomst Center, well worth a visit by itself.

St. Urho’s Days
March 16-18
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. Suspiciously, the official St. Urho’s Day is actually March 18, the day after that other saint’s day.

Maple Syrup Tour
March 17 and 24
Visit the Ney Nature Center for a chance to both learn and participate in the maple syrup process.

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