St. Patrick's Day festival set for LA Live

With the city's budget woes having caused the annual downtown parade to be scrapped after 10 years, Los Angeles' biggest St. Patrick's Day event today will be a festival at L.A. Live.

The festival will run from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. It will include beer gardens, food from 14 restaurants, performances by the 40-piece Dublin All Stars Marching Band, the 20-piece Los Angeles Police Emerald Society Bagpipe Band, and an Irish rock concert with Ken O'Malley & the Twilight Lords.

Antique fire trucks and police cars from the 1950s will be on display, along with memorabilia from the Los Angeles Fire Department Historical Society.

The festival is being held because of interest by AEG, which owns L.A. Live, and the feeling of city officials that it would be inappropriate to spend the funds needed for traffic control for a parade because of the budget problems, according to Carolyn Ramsay, communications director for Councilman Tom LaBonge.

St. Patrick's Day activities are also planned for the Banning Child Care Center in Wilmington; the Branford Child Care Center in Arleta; the Culver Slauson Recreation Center in Del Rey; the Las Palmas Senior Citizen Center in Hollywood; and the Van Ness Child Care Center in Hyde Park, all operated by the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks.

St. Patrick's Day is the national holiday of Ireland, honoring one of the nation's three patron saints. Legend credits St. Patrick with driving all the snakes from Ireland, although experts believe there never were any snakes in Ireland because it would have been impossible for them to get there.

His true legacy was being among the earliest missionaries traveling abroad to spread the Christian faith, inspiring later missionaries.

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