Come Friday, visitors will be doing more than gambling in Las Vegas, without spending a lot of the green stuff.
You can party at Fremont Street’s parade, pour your own glass of Guinness and enjoy green fireworks on St. Patrick’s Day.
The city rolls out the green carpet starting at noon, with many events continuing into the wee hours in countless pubs and clubs around the city. Here are six events we like.
1. Rock out with Irish rock bands: Starting at 11 a.m. Irish bands will be pounding out music on all three stages at Fremont Street until 2 a.m. — and it’s free.
2. Watch the parade on Fremont Street: Uniformed current and retired firefighters from around the country will converge for the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade along Fremont Street. The fundraiser for local firefighters steps off at noon from the Main Street Stage at the Fremont Street Experience with a pipe and drum corps leading the way.
3. Cheer on competitors in the Firefighter Games: An hour after the parade ends, the Firefighter Games begin. Firefighters compete in a bucket brigade, wheelbarrow race and tug of war outside the Downtown Grand hotel at 206 N. 3rd St. It’s free too.
While enjoying the action, guests can munch corned beef sandwiches and cabbage and potatoes.
4. Pour yourself a Guinness (it’s not as easy as you think): Learn how to properly pour a pint of the dark brown stuff during the Perfect Pint Experience at the Guinness Store in the Shoppes at Mandalay Place.
Guinness opened its first retail store in the U.S. in Las Vegas on St. Patrick’s Day of 2011.
For $20 each, participants learn from an expert the six steps needed to pour a proper Imperial pint (yes, it’s actually a skill). You get to drink the contents and go home with a 20-ounce glass, a photo of your talents and a beer-pouring certificate.
The experience — available only in Vegas and in Dublin — is offered daily 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Info: (702) 632-7773.
5. Party at an Irish pub: Those who visit the Guinness store on Friday will undoubtedly hear the celebrations next-door at the Ri Ra Irish Pub.
From noon until the wee hours, bands will be belting out Irish folk songs and ballads as the beer and whisky flow. An Irish bagpiper and dancers will also entertain as guests enjoy a special menu featuring food such as corned beef and cabbage, beef and Guinness stew, and shepherd’s pie.
A beer will set you back $6.75 to $7.75, depending on what you pick.
6. Thrill to the green fireworks: Back downtown, the night sky will turn green at 10 p.m. as fireworks explode above the Plaza Hotel & Casino at 1 S. Main St. The three-minute show will feature green pyrotechnics launched from various locations. It can be viewed from the hotel and along Fremont Street.
Fireworks and live entertainment are free; drink specials will be served throughout the evening at the Plaza and elsewhere.
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