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If it's March 17, it's ... St. Patrick's Day?



Guinness will be drunk. Green will be worn. But not everyone in the Triangle will focus on St. Patrick's Day this Saturday.

In lieu of the Irish holiday, the Federal ( in Durham will host "Ain't Paddy's Day." Josh Wittman, one of the restaurant's owners, says of the neighboring James Joyce pub, "I feel like they've got the Irish thing covered." So the Federal's event will be a "celebration of Southerness."

"We'll do a special menu, special drinks and play a lot of the Charlie Daniels Band," Wittman says. "It will be a good old time."

Southern plates will include a pulled pork sandwich, a shrimp burger, a country-fried steak burger topped with pimento cheese, fried chicken liver sliders and a smoked Kobe beef brisket sandwich. And to wash it all down, Wittman says there will be plenty of "fine American beer."

In the afternoon, some Durham residents will renew vows to the Bull City. The first anniversary of last year's Marry Durham ceremony, in which individuals and businesses made commitments to Durham, will kick off at 2:30 p.m. on the 700 block of Rigsbee Avenue.

"I think it's really about watching Durham come together and support itself," says May Alexander, one of the event's organizers. "Last year we were blown away by [the community's] generosity, so we're trying to foster that opportunity again and have a good time."

At 3 p.m., a short parade will leave from in front of Fullsteam. Local politicians and Durham Bulls mascot Wool E. Bull will be present. Eleven food trucks—including bikeCOFFEE, Triangle Raw Foodists, Local in Motion from Boxcarr Farms, Daisy Cakes and Cafe Prost—will set up on the streets to round out a reception.

Helping sponsor the event and selling drinks for merrymaking are five bars: Fullsteam, Motorco, Lloyd's Lounge, Surf Club and The Bar. Each will house a pot of gold—"a riff on St. Patrick's Day," says Alexander—to accept donations. Proceeds will support projects by last year's five Marry Durham nonprofits, including Genesis Home and the Eno River Association, along with seven new groups, such as the Hayti Heritage Center, Durham People's Alliance and the Coalition to Unchain Dogs. All 12 nonprofits will also have spots on the street in order to provide information about their work and to accept volunteers or additional donations. For more information about Marry Durham, visit

For a full-fledged St. Patrick's Day celebration, visit Raleigh. The city will host its 30th St. Patrick's Day Parade and Wearin' O' the Green Festival on Saturday.

With more than 8,000 marchers, including traditional Irish dancers, floats and marching bands, the parade will leave at noon from an area near the intersection of Wilmington and Cabarrus streets and end at Moore Square. There, the festival will host food and beverage vendors, craft booths, games for children and Irish music and dancing. The festival will take place between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. For more information, visit

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