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Find your Irish side at this year's festivities

This St. Patrick's Day, head into town for the annual parade and a visit to your favorite pub. The next day might bring a headache to those of us who can't hold our liquor as well as others, but who can resist a holiday where drinking more than you should and pinching strangers is the norm?

March 12

Brian O'Neill's

5555 Morningside Dr., 713-522-2603

www.brianoneills.com

Get into the right mind-set with Brian O'Neill's 6th Annual Sexy Kilt Contest, always a crowd-pleaser. There'll be cash prizes for the top three men to charm the female judges with their knobby knees and taut calves, not to mention a chance at photographic immortalization on the pub's Web site in all their traditional Irish glory.

The Goose's Acre ­Bistro & Irish Pub

21 Waterway Ave., suite 140, 281-466-1502

www.thegoosesacre.com

Stop by for the Third Annual Sexy Kilt Contest. Men and women are both welcome to join in. Please contact the Goose's Acre to sign up.

Griff's Shenanigans Cafe & Bar

3416 Roseland St., 713-528-9912

www.griffshouston.net

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with the St. Patrick's Day Queen Contest at Griff's. The judging will be based on natural beauty, poise, attire and personality. All contestants will have to apply; check-in starts at 5:30 p.m.

March 13

The Goose's Acre ­Bistro & Irish Pub

21 Waterway Ave., suite 140, 281-466-1502

www.thegoosesacre.com

The Ruse band takes the stage at 10 p.m.

Griff's Shenanigans Cafe & Bar

3416 Roseland St., 713-528-9912

www.griffshouston.net

Griff's will be holding a greater Houston area Irish open golf tournament, better known as Beer, Boobs, Babes, and Balls, beginning at noon for tee time with a shotgun start. There will be trophies and prizes for first, second and third places as well as special prizes for Closest to Hole and Longest Drive. You can also come early for a putting contest at 11 a.m. The individual entry fee is $135, and all participants must apply.

March 14

50th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade

713-365-9648

www.saintpatricksdayparade.com

A longtime tradition, this parade will start and end at Minute Maid Park and begins at noon. It's free of charge. There will be live entertainment at the Discovery Green stage after the parade.

Beer Island

2631 White Oak Dr., 713-862-4670

There will be a Southern rock band performing at the Heights block party from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m., along with food and drink specials.

Brian O'Neill's

5555 Morningside Dr., 713-522-2603

www.brianoneills.com

Get psyched for the main event at the Brian O'Neill's St. Patrick's Day Pre-Party with food and drinks outside, music and live bands. The party starts at 2 p.m., and the Slags are on at 3 p.m. DJ Grey starts spinning at 10 p.m. There is a $5 cover.

Firkin & Phoenix Restaurant & Pub

1915 Westheimer, 713-526-3100

www.firkinandphoenix.com

Celebrate the St. Paddy's Day spirit at Firkin & Phoenix for a specialized dose of March Madness. There will, of course, be a party complete with music and a live band.

The Goose's Acre ­Bistro & Irish Pub

21 Waterway Ave., suite 140, 281-466-1502

www.thegoosesacre.com

The Kris Harper Band takes the stage at 10 p.m. This shall be the Goose's Acre's Pre-St. Paddy's Day Bash.

Griff's Shenanigans Cafe & Bar

3416 Roseland St., 713-528-9912

www.griffshouston.net

Join in for the 19th Annual Irish Stew, Chili and Chicken Cook-off. With the competition going from noon to 7 p.m., the six cooks on each team will check in between 9 and 11 a.m., bring their own supplies including propane, and prepare their food — three gallons of stew or chili and one whole chicken — on site. The entry fee is $15 for one item or $30 for all three. Judging will begin at 4 p.m. for chicken, 4:45 p.m. for stew and 5:30 p.m. for chili. The prizes will include: for first place, 12 festival passes and $25 worth of drink tickets for St. Paddy's Day; for second place, six festival passes for St. Paddy's Day; and, for third place, three festival passes for St. Paddy's Day. All participants must apply.

Lucky's Pub

801 St. Emanuel, 713-522-2010

www.luckyspub.com

From Saturday, March 14, through Tuesday, March 17 (St. Patrick's Day), Lucky's Pub will be throwing a festival. 94.5 The Buzz broadcasts live all day, so come meet all the jocks, win awesome prizes and party in the best place for St. Patrick's Day. And don't forget, green beer, green beer and more green beer all four days. There will be six bands and three DJs playing live. Also enjoy leprechauns, a Shopping Cart St. Patrick's Day Parade with $200 to the winners, 94.5 The Buzz broadcasting live all day Tuesday, bagpipers, and a menu full of Irish fare, including corned beef and cabbage, Irish stew, shepherd's pie and more. There will be eight different areas to party in. No cover.

Onion Creek

3106 White Oak Dr., 713-880-0706

www.onioncreekcafe.com

Visit Onion Creek for an Irish band performance, complete with drink specials and a T-shirt giveaway.

Pub Fiction

2303 Smith, suite 100, 713-400-8400

www.pubfiction.com

"Why be green when you can be black and blue?" is the St. Paddy's Day motto for Pub Fiction as it introduces its first annual dodge ball tournament to celebrate this special occasion. Sign-up is free, but the tournament is first-come, first-serve for 20 teams only, so get down there quick. The tournament is double-elimination, going from 2 to 6 p.m., although the pub opens its doors at 11 a.m. There's no cover, and it goes through the whole weekend, so stop by.

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