Sunday, March 17, 2013
Annual St. Patrick's Day Festival Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Orange County Market Place / Swap Meet, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa 949-723-6660 / ocmarketplace.com
See video of dancers at event!
So you think you can dance? An estimated 20,000 people show up annually at the affordable, family fun St. Patrick's Day Festival at Orange County Market Place held at the Orange County Fairgrounds.
The event each year includes youth dance groups from local Irish dance schools that amaze the audience with the glittery costumes and high stepping acts. Irish stilt-walkers, magicians, green lemonade, green mint ice cream and green beer are a few of the accents to the event held a weekend near March 17, St. Patrick's Day.
Entertainment include acts like: All things green will share the spotlight during the 7th Annual St. Patrick's Day Celebration & Green Festival on Sunday, March 17 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Combining a bit o' the Blarney spirit and eco-friendly living, activities will range a broad spectrum with everything from zero waste, composting, plastic bag weaving to green food, Irish dancers and strolling leprechauns. A unique tie to the Emerald Isle is that Ireland was the first country to take a strong stand against the use of plastic bags, and develop a tax on them, which was in 2002. This resulted in an almost immediate 94% drop in plastic bag use in Ireland after the tax was effective and set the standard for other countries to follow suit. Attendees are encouraged to bring and donate their plastic bags to be used for crocheting purposes, reusable bags and sleeping mats for the homeless. Three Irish dance schools will take center stage with shows all day, starting at 10 a.m. Nearly 100 dancers, many of them world champions, will perform jigs, reels, and soft and hard shoe numbers while donning their academy's distinctive colorful costumes. The Claddagh School of Irish Dancing from Lake Forest performs at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. followed by the Aniar Academy of Irish Dance from Laguna Niguel at Noon and 1 p.m. Butler-Fearon O'Connor School of Irish Dance in Mission Viejo will round out the Festival dancing at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. A host of eco activities and educational opportunities will be presented by Earth Resource Foundation, a Costa Mesa nonprofit organization that teaches people how to integrate environmental responsibility where they live, work and play. Local high school and college students will pair up with community groups and businesses to present interactive displays, games, booths and mini stage presentations covering a myriad of subjects. Gourmet food trucks Calbi BBQ, Crepes Bonaparte and Seabirds will be offering special Irish and “green” food items. The Market Place will offer green beer and lemonade along with green mint ice cream. Earth Resource Foundation (949) 645-5163, earthresource.org