TRAVERSE CITY — St. Patrick's Day celebrations start early this year.
• Festivities begin Wednesday, March 14, when the Irish group Slide performs at Sleder's Family Tavern, 717 Randolph St. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door; for more information, call 947-9213.
• The Lucky Leprechaun Ball is scheduled for 7-10 p.m. Thursday, March 15, at the City Opera House.
The all-ages event includes music by Song of the Lakes and the Young Sullys, as well as the "Danny Boy" singing competition. Finalists will be competing for a $300 first prize in the adult division, a $500 college scholarship in the junior division and a $300 first prize in the group division.
The three finalists in the junior division are Marie Laird, Sage DeAgro-Ruopp and Madison Hertel, all of Traverse City. Jenna Elsenheimer, 12, of Traverse City, is the People's Choice winner and also will perform.
Ed Michael and Scott Carter are finalists in the adult division.
There will be a "last call" for new contestants beginning at 6 p.m. New contestants need a ticket to the ball.
Money raised goes to the Father Fred Foundation.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students, available at www.cityoperahouse.org or by calling 941-8082. Eight-top tables are available for $200.
• The annual pub walk is Friday, March 16, beginning at noon at Minerva's in the Park Place Hotel. Other stops include Bubba's, U&I Lounge, Union Street Station, Bootleggers, Dillinger's Pub, Brady's, the Blue Tractor Cook Shop, Firefly and finally, from 10 to 11 p.m., the Loading Dock.
• Then, on the big day itself, Saturday, March 17 — or "The Highest of Holy Days," as the Ancient Order of Hibernians calls it — there's a parade, singing and more.
The pre-parade gathering begins at noon at North Peak Brewing Co. and the parade starts at 1:30 p.m. Staging is along Hall Street, then marchers turn left onto Front Street, right on Pine, left on State, left on Park, left on State and return to Hall Street.
Post-parade entertainment by Song of the Lakes and The Wild Sullys is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. at Kilkenny's Irish Public House (under North Peak).
Other St. Patrick's Day events in the area include: