Weekend activities: St. Paddy’s celebrations, blues music and Arts Afire!

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with real Irish flare at McCabe’s Irish Pub in Naples, listen to a bouquet of blues music at the Fifth Annual Bonita Blues Festival in Bonita Springs and feel the heat at Marco Island’s Arts Afire! festival featuring the area’s best artists and entertainers.

Naples - St. Patrick’s Celebration at McCabe’s

Join McCabe’s Irish Pub’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations on Saturday, March 12, and Thursday, March 17, at McCabe’s Irish Pub in Naples.

The first celebration on Saturday begins at 9 a.m. and happens alongside the Naples St. Patrick’s Day parade. McCabe’s offers great viewing for the parade and boasts a selection the finest import ales, stouts, whiskeys and brews.

After the parade, the festivities continue with traditional Irish fare including Irish stew, shepherd’s pie and Angus beef. The pub will provide live entertainment inside and outside featuring the Harp and Thistle Band, West of Galway, Celtic Spirit School of Irish Dance, Matty Jollie and Jerry Pellegrino. Outdoor bars will be available until 6 p.m. but the party goes on inside of McCabe’s until midnight.

“It’s almost like a mini St. Patty’s,” said Tiffani Landry, bar manager and bartender at McCabe’s Irish Pub.

McCabe’s hosts a second celebration on St. Patrick’s Day, a tribute to all things Irish. The pub opens at 8 a.m. and spends the day giving people what Landry calls “that good Irish feel.” McCabe’s offers foods in spirit of the holiday such as Irish pot roast and corned beef and cabbage. Several outdoor bars provide guests with their favorite drinks while they listen to Irish-inspired tunes, rock music and more in the Sugden Plaza until midnight. Guests can move to the music of West of Galway, Matty Jollie, Jerry Pellegrino, Marci G. and Steve, Joel Rogers and others. The Irish Step Dancers from the Celtic Spirit Dance School will also perform.

Landry said, “It’s just fun because everyone’s jovial and in a good mood and it’s just all about having a good time and eating good food.”

For additional information, contact the Inn on Fifth at 1-888-403-8778.

Bonita Springs - Fifth Annual Bonita Blues Festival

Listen to local, regional and international blues artists play at the Fifth Annual Bonita Blues Festival at Riverside Park in downtown Bonita Springs on Friday, March 11, and Saturday, March 12.

The festival begins at 2 p.m. on Friday and the music starts at 2:30 p.m. with Marty Stokes and the Captiva Band followed by Tommy Lee Cook and the Boys from Buckingham and Joanne Shaw Taylor. Victor Wainwright and the Wildroots play until the festival’s close at 9 p.m.

Saturday, the festivities start at 11 a.m. and the Certified Band takes the stage at noon followed by JP Soars and the Redhots, The Josh Garrett Band, Hamilton Loomis and Eddie Shaw and the Wolfgang. The All Star Jam Session is the musical capstone to the event and artists will play until the festival ends at 9 p.m.

Michael Pfeffer, president of the Bonita Blues Charitable Foundation, said, “It’s such a universal type of music that everybody can enjoy it, and everybody’s been through the blues from time to time.”

Vendors will provide plenty of food and wares at the event. Friday offers “happy hour” prices for beer and wine from 2-5 p.m.

Tickets for Friday cost $15 and tickets for Saturday cost $20. A two-day pass is $30 if bought in advance. Children under 12 are free with paid adult.

Proceeds from the Bonita Blues Festival will benefit the Bonita Springs Assistance Office which helps clients become productive community members, Music for Minors Foundation, Inc., which provides musical instruments to local youth and the Wounded Warriors Project which benefits local war veterans.

Marco Island Arts Afire!

Experience the diversity of the arts during Arts Afire!, a full week celebrating fine art, music, dance and theatre from Saturday, March 12, through Sunday, March 20, in the city of Marco Island.

According to Howard Blankman, chairman of the Arts Advisory Committee, this is the first time in the history of Marco Island that 25 of the arts organizations will be working together.

Blankman said, “We want to give the full spectrum of what the arts is about.”

Saturday events at the Marco Island Historical Museum include a children’s Calusa pottery workshop at 10 a.m., a display of lost tribe dioramas from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and a ribbon cutting and music on the mound at noon at Rose History Auditorium. United Church features a shell show from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The Esplanade hosts the Left Bank Art Fest from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and visitors are invited to play the texture game from 2-4 p.m.

Sunday offers a variety of music and dance. Enjoy a concert with Strummers With an Irish Lilt at Mackle Park from 2-4 p.m. Backstage Dance Academy performs at Marco Lutheran Church at 2:45 p.m. followed by a performance by Opera Naples at 3:30 p.m.

Art in Bloom, presented by the Calusa Garden Club, will display a standard flower show and a floral interpretation of art in mixed media on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

The finale is the After Glow Gala, a celebratory awards dinner, on March 20 at the Island Country Club from 6-10 p.m. Tickets cost $60 per person or $600 for a table of 10. Tickets may be purchased at City Hall by calling (239) 389-5000 or from Jo-Ann Sanborn at Rightside Studios at the Esplanade. For more information about the gala and tickets call (239) 404-9179.

“We hope everybody feels the heat and fans the flames,” Blankman said.

For a complete list of events, visit www.marcoislandartsafire.com.

Other events this weekend include:

Naples Artcrafters Fine Art and Crafts show

The Naples Artcrafters will hold its Fine Art and Craft Show in downtown Naples. The Naples Artcrafters is an established fine art and craft organization with over 40 years of history in Naples. Its members include painters, potters, jewelers, and just about every artistic or craft discipline imaginable. Call (239) 434-0781 for more information. The event and parking are free. Go to www.naplesartcrafters.com for more information.

Place: Cambier Park, Naples

Date: Saturday, March 12, 2011

Time: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Cost: Free.

A Knight in Ireland Dinner Dance

Sponsored by the Knights of Columbus Council. Call (239) 304-0471 or (239) 262-2214 for more information.

Place: St. William Parish hall, 750 Seagate Drive, Naples

Date: Saturday, March 12, 2011

Time: 6 p.m.

Cost: $30

St. Patrick’s Day Crafts

Get into the spirit with St. Patrick’s Day-inspired crafts for first through fifth graders. Registration is required at www.colliergov.net/library. Call (239) 263-6853 for more information.

Place: Naples Regional Library, 650 Central Ave., Naples

Date: Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Time: 3:30-4:30 p.m.

Cost: Free.

Irish Dance with Kellyn Celtic Arts

Celebrate Irish heritage and watch traditional Irish dance. Call (239) 495-8989 for more information.

Place: Center for the Arts of Bonita Springs, Promenade at Bonita Bay, 26811 S. Bay Drive, Bonita Springs

Date: Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Time: 7 p.m.

Cost: $25 for members, $30 for others

St. Patrick’s Day at Rookery Bay

Wear green and get $1 off regular admission. Children can participate in a green scavenger hunt. Presentations on animal camouflage take place at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Call (239) 417-6310 for more information.

Place: Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, 300 Tower Road, Naples

Date: Thursday, March 17, 2011

Time: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Cost: $5 for adults, $3 for children ages 6-12, free for members

Luck of the Irish

The event offers children’s activities and encourages everyone to wear green. Come hear Irish stories and sing Irish songs. Registration is required at www.colliergov.net/library. Call (239) 657-2882 for more information.

Place: Immokalee Branch Library, 417 N. First St., Immokalee

Date: Thursday, March 10, 2011

Time: 6 p.m.

Cost: Free.

Golden Gate Frontier Days and Parade

The event has a carnival with rides, games, food and entertainment and features a parade at 2 p.m. on Saturday. Visit www.ggfrontierdays.com for more information.

Place: 4701 Golden Gate Parkway

Date: Thursday, March 10, through Sunday, March 13, 2011

Time: 6 p.m. to midnight on Friday, 3 p.m. to midnight on Saturday and Sunday

Cost: $5 for adults, $2 for children ages 5-16, $1 for children ages 4 and younger

Spring Fishing Classic

Learn secret techniques and strategies starting at 7 p.m. through Sunday.

Saturday, March 12, tarpon fishing 101 with Capt. Josh Greer and 3-4 p.m.

Sunday, March 13, 2 p.m. saltwater fishing basics.

Call (239) 461-7800 for more information.

Place: Bass Pro Shops in Gulf Town Center, 10040 Gulf Center Drive, Fort Myers

Date: Saturday, March 12, and Sunday, March 13, 2011

Arts & Crafts

Call (239) 695-2905 for more information.

Place: Mcleod Park, Everglades City

Date: Saturday, March 12, 2011

Time: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Bonita Springs National Art Festival

200 artists on exhibit. For more information, call 239-992-1213.

Place: Promenade, 26841 S. Bay Drive, Bonita Springs

Date: Saturday, March 12 and Sunday, March 13, 2011

Time: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Everglades Homes Tour

Visit nine historic buildings in Everglades City. Call (239) 695-2905 for more information.

Place: McLeod Park, Everglades City

Date: Saturday, March 12, 2011

Time: 1-5 p.m.

Cost: $20

Naples Car Cruise-In

The car show features classics, rods, custom, muscle, exotics, sports cars and show bikes.

Place: McDonald’s, 4245 U.S. 41 N., Naples

Date: Saturday, March 26, 2011

Time: 4-7 p.m.

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