(credit: stpattysfest.com)

Our diverse nation has been likened to a melting pot, but on March 17 each year, we all become Irish. Yes, there will be green beer and Irish coffee in our local pubs – but you are also likely to find shamrocks, green streamers and Gaelic-themed fare in many of our fine Mexican and Asian establishments, as well. Here are some celebrations around the Southland that you can enjoy with your family – and some for which you should leave the clann at home.

(credit: stpattysfest.com)

Saturday, March 12

2011 St. Patty’s Fest

Taglyan Complex
1201 N. Vine Street
Los Angeles, CA
(213) 915-8003
More Info

At $100 per person (and promising all you can drink), you’ll probably want to leave the children at home while you imbibe and feast on all manner of dishes that range from PINK’s hot dogs to sushi (well, at least the wasabi is green). Proceeds from this event benefit the Hollywood Arts Council.

Time: 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM

(credit: thegardenhelper.com)

Saturday, March 12

2011 Irish Fair’s St. Patrick’s Day Grand Ball

Atrium Hotel at John Wayne OC Airport
18700 MacArthur Blvd.
Irvine, CA 92612-1478
(949) 489-1172
More Info

This is a rather classy affair that’s probably not appropriate for the kiddies. But if your style is more black tie than “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” t-shirts, this is your place to par-tay. Dennis McNell and Olivia Tracey will emcee the evening of dinner and dancing (with music by Ken O’Malley and the Twilight Lords). And at midnight, the 2011 Rose of Tralee will receive her crown.

Time: 6:00 p.m.
Tickets: $100 per person

(credit: David Saffian/youngdubliners.com)

Thursday, March 17

Young Dubliners Free Lunchtime Concert

Pershing Square Outdoor Concert and Event Center
532 South Olive
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 847-4970
More Info

Start the party at lunchtime with this free show, produced by L.A. Department of Recreation and Parks. The Young Dubliners will be on hand, along with the Los Angeles Police Emerald Society Pipes and Drums Band & Irish Dancers and Bagpipers. You can save some money with a brown bag lunch or splurge on a classic French dip sandwich from Cole’s.

(credit: rebeccastories.com)

Thursday, March 17

St. Patrick’s Day At Los Angeles Public Libraries

More Info

What could be more family friendly than the library? Here’s a sampling of what’s happening in Los Angeles county:

Leprechauns, Clover & Rainbows at Graham Library
1900 E. Firestone Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90001
(323) 582-2903

Storyteller Rebecca Martin shares tales of Ireland that are sure to bring you luck!
Time: 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Cookie Decorating at Valencia Library
23743 W. Valencia Blvd.
Santa Clarita, CA 91355
(661) 259-8942

Kids in Grades 3-8 and their parents are invited for a special cookie decorating program in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. Registration is required.
Time: 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM

Singer Dan Crow at Manhattan Beach Library
1320 Highland Ave.
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
(310) 545-8595

Celebrate St Patrick’s Day with music and song by amazing musician, Dan Crow. No reservations necessary.
For Ages 4 & Up.

(credit: rileysfarm.com)

Thurdsay, March 17

St. Patrick’s On the Farm

Riley’s Farm
12261 South Oak Glen Road
Oak Glen, California 92399
(909) 797-7534
More Info

This Inland Empire institution adds a little history to its St. Paddy’s celebration – which makes sense, as they’ve been info-taining school kids for years with their re-creation of a colonial-era farm. After all, as they point out on their website, George Washington took Boston from the British on St. Patrick’s Day, 1776. Irish food and Irish tunes will be performed by the Riley family’s house band.

Time: 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Tickets: $29.95 for adults, $24.95 for children (age 3-12)

(Credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

Thursday and Friday, March 17th and 18th

“Feed Me, I’m Irish” Food Truck Festival

Lawn Area at California Theatre of the Performing Arts
562 W. 4th Street, San Bernardino, CA (Corner of 4th and E streets)
Venue Phone: (909) 386-7361
Festival Phone: (909) 886 – 8188
More Info

The holiday gains new significance in the Inland Empire with San Bernardino’s first ever food truck festival. No word on which trucks will be on hand, but the organizers promise Celtic dancers, Irish singers and a contest (with cash prizes) for the best singer of “Danny Boy.” And yes, you’ll find plenty of green beer for the grownups. (But will there be tacos made of corned beef and cabbage?)

Time: 4:00 p.m – 9:00 p.m.

Donna Schwartz Mills is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, just like everybody else. She blogs at SoCal Mom.