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13 awesome things to do on St. Patrick's Day weekend in Southern California

A pinball machine.
A pinball machine.
Photo by Donald Bell via Flickr Creative Commons

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When St. Patrick's Day falls on a Saturday, it's like the planets align and a vortex opens — one filled with lukewarm green beer, cheap whiskey shots and suspect hangover cures. But there's more to the weekend than boozing and barfing. Southern California has plenty of activities that are family-friendly, foodie-friendly and just plain fun.


SWEET TOOTH PICK

Claremont Pie Festival

Pecan pie.
Pecan pie.
Photograph by cyclonebill / via Flickr Creative Commons

WHEN: Saturday, March 17; 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
WHERE: Downtown Claremont — along 2nd Street
COST: FREE; MORE INFO

Check out the best local bakers at a pie-making contest, attend workshops on cultivating succulents or making bath bombs and tuck into a pie-tasting buffet. Guest of honor Christine Moore, founder of Little Flower (known for its fantastic caramels), will sign her cookbook and lead baking demos. As you chow down, spare a crust for brilliant physicist Stephen Hawking, who passed away on March 14 — aka Pi Day.


SMALL SCREEN PICK

PaleyFest LA 2018

Megan Mullally, Eric McCormack, Debra Messing and Sean Hayes of
Megan Mullally, Eric McCormack, Debra Messing and Sean Hayes of "Will & Grace" visit "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" on September 22, 2017.
Theo Wargo/Getty Images

WHEN: Friday, March 16 - Sunday, March 25
WHERE: Dolby Theatre — 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood
COST: $30-$72, Paley members; $40-$90, general public; MORE INFO

The 35th anniversary of this television festival features tons of panels and events celebrating top shows. This weekend, you can catch discussions about "Will & Grace," "The Handmaid's Tale" and "Silicon Valley" as well as a tribute to the TV work of Barbra Streisand. Later in the week, you'll find favorites "Queen Sugar," "Mom" and "Stranger Things," among others.


GAMING PICK

Arcade Expo 2018

Game enthusiasts attend the Dutch Pinball Open, where approximately 500 pinball machines were available to be played in Eindhoven on November 12, 2017.
Game enthusiasts attend the Dutch Pinball Open, where approximately 500 pinball machines were available to be played in Eindhoven on November 12, 2017.
ROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN/AFP/Getty Images

WHEN: Friday, March 16 - Sunday, March 18
WHERE: Museum of Pinball — 700 S. Hathaway St., Banning
COST: $25-120; MORE INFO

The small Riverside County town of Banning has fewer than 30,000 residents but more than 1,100 retro arcade games. This weekend, you can play them all. Once you're inside the expo, it's freeplay on all of the Museum of Pinball's vintage and modern arcade games. Play Pac-Man under the stars in the Starcade cabanas. If you're a Donkey Kong king, you can test your skills against other top players at the Kong Off.


LITERARY PICK

Los Angeles Zine and Art Book Bazaar

Zines from the collection at the Main Library in Long Beach.
Zines from the collection at the Main Library in Long Beach.
Jesus Ambrosio/ KPCC

WHEN: Friday, March 16 - Sunday, March 18
WHERE: Museum as Retail Space — 649 S. Anderson St., downtown L.A.
COST: FREE; MORE INFO

This new fair, dreamed up after the L.A. Art Book Fair was cancelled, draws from the city's underground roots and underrepresented communities — with an emphasis on the queer and the occult. Local artists and zine-makers will show off their creations alongside established art organizations like the Tom of Finland Foundation.


MOVIE PICK

Leprechaun

A still from the 1993 movie
A still from the 1993 movie "Leprechaun."

WHEN: Friday, March 16, 11:59 p.m.
WHERE: Vista Theatre — 4473 Sunset Blvd., Los Feliz
COST: $12.50; MORE INFO

In the heady days of 1993, a young Jennifer Aniston made her film debut in a comedy-horror flick. "Leprechaun" was cheap, kitschy and absurd — an instant cult classic. Who doesn't love a movie about a diminutive green dude willing to kill anyone to get his pot of gold? Kick off St. Patrick's Day with a midnight screening of this cinematic masterpiece and don't forget to wear green.


TRIPPY PICK

Beyond Wonderland

Festivalgoers dance as Girl Talk performs onstage during the 2017 Panorama Music Festival on July 28, 2017 in New York City.
Festivalgoers dance as Girl Talk performs onstage during the 2017 Panorama Music Festival on July 28, 2017 in New York City.
Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for Panorama

WHEN: Saturday, March 16 - Sunday, March 18
WHERE: National Orange Show Events Center — 689 S. E Street, San Bernardino
COST: $125, one-day general admission; $179-$199, two-day general admission; MORE INFO

This Alice In Wonderland-themed festival features more than 60 dance music acts performing on four elaborately designed stages. Headliners include Alesso, Dash Berlin, Andy C, Bijou and Born Dirty. The Wide Awake Art Car also returns with a specially curated roster of artists.


THROWBACK PICK

Rod Serling's Night Gallery: Art Exhibit

night gallery opening vid

WHEN: Saturday, March 17, 6-9 p.m.
WHERE: Creature Features — 2904 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank
COST: $10; MORE INFO

From 1969 to 1973, sci-fi fans fell in love with the macabre and mind-bending TV show "Night Gallery," which featured a different spooky painting each episode. Check out those original paintings along with "Night Gallery" props, memorabilia, behind-the-scenes photos and tribute works by current artists. Cast and crew members will provide commentaries on screenings of classic episodes.


FAMILY PICK

Art Without Walls: Sounds of Freedom

Zelia Corbia, 18, of Hollywood paints a photograph taken during a body modification portrait assignment at CalArt's Community Arts Partnership.
Zelia Corbia, 18, of Hollywood paints a photograph taken during a body modification portrait assignment at CalArt's Community Arts Partnership.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC

WHEN: Saturday, March 17, 2 - 4 p.m.
WHERE: Felipe de Neve Library Branch — 2820 W. 6th Street, Koreatown
WHEN: Sunday, March 18, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
WHERE: Hammer Museum — 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood
COST: FREE; MORE INFO

What would a memory look like if you re-created it through sound? Artist Ismael de Anda will lead workshops that emphasize empathy and listening skills as he helps kids create soundscapes. The program at the library is in both Spanish and English. The one at the Hammer includes storytelling in the galleries.


STORYTELLING PICK

Tales from the Crib

Sumo wresters hold up crying babies in front of a referee clad in a traditional costume during a
Sumo wresters hold up crying babies in front of a referee clad in a traditional costume during a "Baby-cry Sumo" event at the Kamegaike-Hachiman Shrine in Sagamihara, Kanagawa prefecture, on May 14, 2017.
TORU YAMANAKA/AFP/Getty Images

WHEN: Saturday, March 17, 7 - 10 p.m.
WHERE: Malo — 4326 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake
COST: $10; MORE INFO

Hear funny and freaky tales from the trenches of childrearing. Storytellers include Tara Jepsen, Sabrina Jalees, Sandra Tsing Loh and other comedians, writers, filmmakers, playwrights and church ladies. 


SPORTY PICK

2018 Los Angeles Marathon

Meb Keflezighi runs past supporters in the U.S. Men's Olympic Marathon Trials on February 13, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.
Meb Keflezighi runs past supporters in the U.S. Men's Olympic Marathon Trials on February 13, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.
Noel Vasquez/Getty Images for KRAVE Jerky

WHEN: Saturday, March 18, 6:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.
WHERE: All over the city
COST: FREE to cheer for runners; MORE INFO

We get it. If you haven't been training for months, you're not just going to throw on a pair of sneakers and run 26.2 miles. But you can set up a lawn chair along the route and cheer on runners as they grit it out — maybe while you sip a refreshing sparkling water and check your social media feeds. That could be your marathon. The course starts at Dodger Stadium and ends in Santa Monica, so you have plenty of opportunities to show your support.


21+ PICK

St. Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl

"Deano and Gavin" enjoy the festivities on St Patrick's Day on March 17, 2009 in Auckland, New Zealand.
Hannah Peters/Getty Images

WHEN: Saturday, March 17, 1 p.m. - 2 a.m.
WHERE: Los Angeles Biergarten — 760 S. Broadway, downtown L.A.
COST: $33; MORE INFO
WHERE: St. Felix — 1602 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood
COST: $18; MORE INFO

Didn't we talk about this kind of celebration earlier? Visit a bunch of watering holes in one fell swoop. These are two separate events but both include tons of beers on tap, drink discounts and free entry at participating venues. The downtown pub crawl features 10 bars and the Hollywood one features nearly 20 eating and drinking establishments. Maybe you'll have the luck of the Irish and avoid waking up with a hangover.


SEASONAL PICK

Huntington Beach Cherry Blossom Festival

Women take a selfie with cherry blossoms in a park in Tokyo on April 6, 2017. Japan's cherry blossom season kicks off boozy parties across the country and draws tourists from far and wide.
Women take a selfie with cherry blossoms in a park in Tokyo on April 6, 2017. Japan's cherry blossom season kicks off boozy parties across the country and draws tourists from far and wide.
BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images

WHEN: Sunday, March 18, 10:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
WHERE: Huntington Beach Central Park Amphitheater — 7111 Talbert Ave., Huntington Beach
COST: FREE; MORE INFO

Spring has sprung. Celebrate the changing seasons at this community festival, part of a cultural exchange with Huntington Beach's sister city — Anjo, Japan. The festival features Japanese dance, music, cultural exhibits, arts, crafts, games and, of course, food.


BODY ART PICK

MUSINK Tattoo Convention and Music Festival

Tattoo artists pose for a picture at the 25th international Tattoo Convention in Frankfurt, Germany, on April 22, 2017.
Tattoo artists pose for a picture at the 25th international Tattoo Convention in Frankfurt, Germany, on April 22, 2017.
DANIEL ROLAND/AFP/Getty Images

WHEN: Friday, March 16 - Sunday, March 18
WHERE: OC Fair & Event Center — 88 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa
COST: $50-73, one-day general admission; $98, weekend general admission; MORE INFO

The Descendents, Blink-182, Lil Yachty and Good Charlotte headline this confab of music and tattoo artists. A beauty pageant featuring the most beautiful inked women and a low and slow car show round out the festivities.


How are you spending your weekend? Let us know on Twitter @LeoHasACat.