The University of Montana Irish Studies Program will join in “the wearing of the green” during the St. Patrick’s Day Celebration on Saturday, March 16. Missoula residents are invited to attend morning Mass downtown, enjoy a parade and feast at the St. Patrick’s Day Banquet in the evening.
The celebration, co-sponsored by the Friends of Irish Studies and the local Ancient Order of the Hibernians, will kick off at 8 a.m. with Mass at St. Francis Xavier Church located at 420 W. Pine St.
The St. Patrick’s Day parade will assemble at 11 a.m. at Broadway and Higgins Ave., departing at noon. This year’s grand marshal is Bobb Coulston, the Irishman of the Year is Shannon Flanagan and the Irishwoman of the Year is Eileen Kearney Ort. Attendees are invited to wear green, bring their families and join in the parade.
The evening banquet will run from 6 to 9 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel located at 100 Madison St. Friends of Irish Studies will host the banquet to support the UM Irish Studies Program. It will feature a silent and live auction and plenty of good music, song and dance. Cocktail hour is from 6 to 7 p.m. and dinner includes a traditional Irish meal of corned beef and cabbage, salad, roasted potatoes and an Irish dessert. Tickets cost $25 per plate and are available at the door.
The following week on Sunday, March 24, the Friends of Irish Studies will draw the raffle winners for a trip to Ireland. The drawing will be held at 4 p.m. at St. Anthony’s Church located at 217 Tremont St. The first-place prize is a trip for two to Ireland, $1,500 spending money and a 10-day car rental; the second-place prize is a $1,500 gas voucher; and the third-place prize is a $500 Visa gift card. Raffle tickets cost $5 for one or $25 for six. They are available at Rockin Rudy’s, Great Harvest Bread Co., Sean Kelly’s, The Stone of Accord and also will be available at the St. Patrick’s Day Banquet.
More information on the Friends of Irish Studies is available online at http://www.friendsofirishstudies.com. For more information on the events, call Traolach O’Riordain, director of the UM Irish Studies Program, at 406-243-6973 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.