If you are one of the few who is not making the annual trek to beautiful Butte America this St. Patrick’s Day, you will be glad to know that Missoula offers a nice array of things to do for this most green of days.

March 16

Run for the Luck of It – There are 5k and 7-mile races, along with a 400-meter Kids Dash that start around 9 a.m. All of the races begin and end in front of Sean Kelly’s, located at 130 West Pine, downtown. You can register for one of these races at https://runwildmissoula.webconnex.com/runfortheluckofit2013.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade – The parade begins at noon and starts at Circle Square on North Higgins and ends at South Higgins and Beckwith near Grizzly Grocery.

St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Gala and Auction – This event features cocktails, live and silent auction items, a traditional Irish dinner and dessert, as well as local Irish singers and dancers. It begins at 6 p.m. at The Double Tree Hotel and is put on by the Friends of Irish Studies.

March 16 and 17

Missoula Winter Market – You can enjoy Missoula’s Farmer’s Market winter style. The market features numerous vendors, live entertainment and hot beverages. The market runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 2036 Mullan Street.

Local Bars – Many of the local bars will be featuring DJs or live music. These bars include The Sunrise Saloon, Dark Horse, The Top Hat and The Badlander. For more information, and to see when and where bands and DJs are performing, visit their websites.

March 17

Draught Works St. Patrick’s Day Festival – The festivities begin at 10 a.m. and last all day. This event features three bands - Aran Buzzas, Celtic Dragons and the Hasslers – as well as real Celtic dancers too. For more information, and to see when the bands are playing, visit http://www.draughtworksbrewery.com/.

Joy Larson is a mother of four boys, graduate of The University of Montana, animal lover and writer.

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