by Frank Lewis
When the 143rd Cleveland St. Patrick’s Day parade steps off at 1:04 p.m. from the corner of East 18th Street and Superior Avenue, many in the crowd will have been drinking since whatever ridiculously early hour their favorite bar opened. But we’ll step over their prone bodies to watch the chubby, determined toddlers in their Irish dance outfits and pinned-on curls emulating the steps of the bigger girls. We’ll also be looking out for the strut of the Irish wolfhounds and Irish setters, the proud clopping of the police horses, the high-stepping of the high-school marching bands and the sassy skating of the Burning River Roller Girls. Probably the most outmatched delegation will be the Cleveland Pioneers Total Abstinence Association, which advocates turning one’s back on demon alcohol. They won’t find a lot of new members on St. Patrick’s Day. Go to clevelandsrishparade.org for information. The largest party downtown will be at the House of Blues. Local favorites The Boys from the County Hell perform 9 a.m. to noon.
If you’ve got the kids and don’t want to navigate the drunks, head over to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo (3900 Wildlife Way, 216.661.6500) where, if you wear green, adults get in for $3.50 and kids for $2.50. Also for little ones ages 3-8, the Garfield Park Nature Center (11350 Broadway Ave., Garfield Hts., 216.341.3152) hosts a Leprechaun Hunt that includes a story from naturalist Stacey Allen, followed by a short hide-and-seek in the woods to look for the pot of gold. It takes place from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Call for a reservation. And for (hopefully) sober adults, the Cleveland Metroparks golf season also kicks off today. Call 216.635.3673 for more information. — Anastasia Pantsios