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Start St. Patrick's Day celebration early at Raglan Road: March 7 is kick-off

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Yes, St. Patrick's Day is March 17, but you can kick things off early at Downtown Disney by visiting Raglan Road. The popular Irish pub and restaurant starts its festivities on March 7, with food, drink, entertainment, and more.

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Click the slideshow accompanying this article for a small sampling of what to expect (the photos are from the 2013 celebration). Starting on March 7, the holiday celebration will kick off at 5 p.m. each night and run until 1 a.m. From March 15 to 17 the start time moves to noon, and the 1 a.m. wind-down remains the same.

The slideshow should whet your appetite for all the fun, but if you'd like a quick summary of what to expect, here are some highlights:

  • Authentic cuisine from Irish celebrity chef Kevin Dundon. You may have seen him on PBS or Create TV hosting "Kevin Dundon’s Modern Irish Cooking."
  • Performances throughout the celebration by such acts as The Willis Clan (winners of the Sound of Music family talent contest), 3 Dollar Band, We Banjo 3, Goitse, The Raglan Rebels, The Brayzen Heads and popular Raglan Road house band Creel. You can also see world-famous U2 tribute band Elevation on March 15 and 17.
  • The Raglan Road Dancers giving daily performances. This talented group has seven full-time champions.
  • Irish Dance workshops with renowned Irish dancer and choreographer Ronan McCormack of the original Riverdance cast,
  • Ceili (kay-lee) traditional music and structured set-dancing events, Host Ronan McCormack will invite guest participation during this fun time.

Raglan Road is conveniently located in Downtown Disney, where the parking is always free and the stores and venues like the Splitsville bowling alley and Cirque du Soleil ensure that you can easily spend an entire day of your vacation there. The celebration happens both indoors and out, so sit at the bar, relax at an indoor table, or enjoy the lovely March Florida weather out on the patio. There's entertainment in both spots, so you won't miss out on the fun.

If you want to be sure that you'll have a table on your preferred day and time, call 407-938-0300 for reservations. There are special guidelines for St. Patrick's Day, which is first come, first served. Jump to this article to learn more about that and see a video overview of the festival.

Need advice or guidance from a Central Florida theme parks expert? Check out my ebooks for Kindle and Nook.

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