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30,000 expected at L.A. Live for St. Patricks Day Festival

City News Service | 3/15/2013, 8:36 a.m.

LOS ANGELES, Calif.--The third annual St. Patrick's Day Festival at L.A. Live will be held from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, featuring Irish food and beverages, music, celebrities and culture, along with the famed--and non-Irish--Budweiser Clydesdales.

A concert stage will be placed in the 40,000 square foot Nokia Plaza.

The arena rock tribute band Wayward Sons will headline the concert, along with Irish rockers Ken O'Malley & The Twilight Lords. They will be joined by the 20-piece Los Angeles Police Emerald Society Pipes and Drums band, the 30-member Cleary Dancers and the Los Angeles Fire Department Honor Guard.

Antique fire trucks will also be in the plaza, while hundreds of motorcyclists will ride from Harley-Davidson dealerships in Southern California to L.A. Live and park in front of Staples Center.

Organizers expect up to 30,000 people. More information is available online at LALIVE.com/stpattys.

A beer, wine and spirits St. Patrick's Day Festival is planned for the Arena nightclub in Hollywood between 1-5 p.m. It will also include performances by the Pasadena Pipes and Drums Band and Irish dancing.

With St. Patrick's Day among the holidays when alcohol consumption rises, Los Angeles County's Avoid the 100 DUI Task Force will deploy special roving driving-under-the-influence patrols and checkpoints during the St. Patrick's Day weekend, looking to stop and arrest drivers who are impaired by alcohol and drugs.

"Whether you are gathering with friends at the local pub or attending a local special event, if alcohol is part of the festivities, make sure you designate a sober driver to get you home safely or contact your local sober ride program for a ride home," said Glendora Police Chief Rob Castro, whose department coordinates the Avoid the 100 DUI Task Force, which is named for the number of participating agencies.

Castro also advised the public to plan a safe way home before the festivities begin; before drinking, designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home; if you are impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation to get home safely; call 911 if you see a drunken driver on the road; and if you know someone who is about to drive a car or ride a motorcycle while impaired, take his keys and help make safer arrangements.

More than 700 people were killed nationwide in crashes involving drunken drivers during St. Patrick's Day holidays from 2006 to 2010, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration figures cited by Castro.

St. Patrick's Day is the national holiday of Ireland, honoring one of the nation's three patron saints. Legend credits St. Patrick with driving all the snakes from Ireland, although experts believe there never were any snakes in Ireland because it would have been impossible for them to get there.

His true legacy was being among the earliest missionaries traveling abroad to spread the Christian faith, inspiring later missionaries.