The St. Patrick's Day holiday around Reno and Sparks isn't all about drinking green beer and adult carousing. There are numerous activities and events suitable for everyone in the family. Up in Virginia City, one of that town's quirky annual events includes a big St. Patrick's Day parade. There are also many adult-oriented St. Patrick's Day affairs that do involve drinking and where you need to be 21+ to take part in the partying.
St. Baldrick's Foundation "Brave the Shave"
"Brave the Shave" is a fundraising head-shaving event for the St. Baldrick's Foundation, a non-profit supporting Northern Nevada Children's Cancer Foundation. The fun and family-friendly event are open to the general community, schools, and businesses. There will be activities for children, including face painting and a photo booth. There will be two Reno / Tahoe events.
Family Program at the Washoe County Library
It's almost St. Patrick's Day and that means it's time to "get your green on" by making a Leprechaun hat and a rainbow mobile. So, wear your green and have some Irish fun. All ages welcome.
The Leprechaun Race
The Leprechaun Race is a 5K run / walk through midtown Reno and the Wells Avenue district. The leprechaun starts after everyone else, giving participants a head start. If you beat him to the finish line, you win a special prize. Even if the leprechaun beats you, everyone who he passes generates a donation. Proceeds go to benefit Reno's Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum (The Discovery). The race begins at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, March 16, 2014. The start/finish is at The Discovery, 490 South Center Street.
A post-race beer garden will be available at Ceol Irish Pub. The deadline to register online is March 12. You can also download a registration form and mail it in by March 14. There will be no race day registration.
Sparks Shamrock Shuffle
The Sparks St. Patrick's Day Shamrock Shuffle will have its start/finish on Victorian Avenue. This 5k fun run for runners of all levels will be on Saturday, March 15, 2014. Wear your best leprechaun outfit, paint yourself green, or just show off the Irish in you on a festive run through downtown Sparks. The event begins at 1 p.m. The course will be professionally timed for the competitive runner, but everyone of all abilities can come out and have fun. No pets allowed on the running course.
Virginia City Parade and Annual Rocky Mountain Oyster Fry
Virginia City's annual St. Patrick's Day Parade starts at 12 noon and features the Minden Irish Dancers, Giant Leprachaun's of Fresno, and other green attractions. In conjunction with the parade, participants in the Rocky Mountain Oyster Fry will be serving up this delicacy (Yes, they are either beef or sheep testicles, or some of both. I'm not sure.) cooked in a variety of ways. I've never tried it, but I've heard that if you like clams, mussels, or real oysters, you'll like these. Over 20 cooks will be trying to win the tasting contest.
The Fry will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on C Street in downtown Virginia City. Besides the parade, there will be lots of fun St. Patrick's Day activities for kids, families, and adults, including authentic live Irish music, a beer garden, numerous vendors, and the annual Leprechaun Bar Crawl.