LARSON: Celebrate the Irish holiday with harps, hawks and hockey

Susan Larson

Susan Larson

I don’t have a smart phone to keep everyone aware of my whereabouts, so I’ll just have to use my column to let my readers know that next weekend I’ll be vacationing in the Gulf. But while I’m having fun in the sun, I don’t want you to feel like you’ve been left behind. All kinds of cool things will be happening while I’m away.

At the library for St. Patrick’s Day, Celtic Fire will present “Echoes of Ireland.” Nella Rigell and John Maschinot will play Irish music on Celtic harp, wooden flute and bagpipes while Katie Baughman performs Irish step dancing. You can catch the spirit at 7 p.m. at the Suwanee Branch on March 22 or at Five Forks Branch on March 24.

On Saturday, local harpist Debra Peterson will play Irish music for an Irish Afternoon Tea at the Lawrenceville Female Seminary from 3 to 5 p.m. Cost is $15 per person. Call 770-822-5178 for reservations.

As if they aren’t already “green” enough, Gwinnett Parks and Recreation will feature green themed games, crafts and snacks for kids in honor of St. Pat. From 4 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, kids can immerse themselves in what’s Irish at Lucky Shoals Park Recreation Center ($3 per child) or Mountain Park Activity Center ($5 per child.)

Even though the great saint was best known for his association with snakes, there’s no reason why birds can’t get into the act, especially if they have Irish names. Raptor rescuer Monteen McCord of HawkTalk will be bringing her birds to Wild Bird Centers in the Forum in Norcross on Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. She’ll have several birds with her, but I suspect her hawk Sean Patrick will take center stage.

If you really want to get into the Irish spirit, you can experience the real thing at Paddy’s Irish Pub at Chateau “O’Lan.” Totally authentic, Paddy’s furnishings and fixtures were created in Ireland. The pub was then shipped in pieces to Braselton, where it was reassembled and opened for business in 1997. Their 13th annual St. Paddy’s celebration will include special Irish cuisine for both lunch and dinner on Thursday, as well as a romantic overnight package.

And it’s not all about the Irish. While the rest of the world may be going green next weekend, the Gwinnett Gladiators will be in the pink with their annual Pink in the Rink charity event for cancer research. As an added attraction, while I’m walking the beaches of the real Gulf, the Gladiators invite you to “dip your toe into the sands of good hockey” with their beachy Margaritaville theme.

The team will really be in the pink with special Margaritaville jerseys that they will auction right off their backs after each game on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Sounds to me like this virtual Gulf experience could be just as good as the real thing.

Susan Larson is a freelance writer who lives in Lilburn. E-mail her at susanlarson4@yahoo.com.