A season o' celebration begins this week for one of the largest St. Patrick's Day celebrations in the Southeast! Five Points commences its annual St. Pat's in Five Points celebration with the Official Kickoff, including the notorious fountain dying, this afternoon.

If you're wondering what the excitement that draws over 40,000 people to the Five Points area is all about, here's a run-down of the full festivities:

Today, Friday, March 2, 2012 join little leprechauns and their much taller chaperones at the Official Kick-off to St. Pat's in Five Points & Fountain Dying at 5:00 pm to welcome St. Patrick's Day to the Five Points village with lively Rince N'ah Eireann Irish Dancers, the Gaelic Palmetto Pipes and Drums, Logan the Leprechaun, fabulous face painters, and much more. Then, don't miss the Battle for St. Pat's from 7:00-10:00 pm where six bands will vie for the spot to play on the big stage at the festival on March 17.

(Update: In light of inclement weather, tonight's Battle of the Bands has been moved indoors to 5 Points Pub (2020 Devine Street) from 7 to 10. The Official Kick-Off will still take place at the fountain from 5-7.)

On March 10, the loveliest ladies in the land will compete for the crown to represent Five Points all year long at the 2nd Annual St. Pat's Beauty Pageant.

Then rock out on St. Patrick's Day, Saturday, March 17, at the 30th Annual St. Pat's in Five Points festival. Join 40,000 of your closest friends and enjoy live music from Hinder, Lee Brice, Trevor Hall, Crossfade, The Devil Makes Three, Blackberry Smoke, The Movement, Weaving the Fate, and more! The festival begins bright and early with Get to the Green, a 5k race at 8:00 am, followed by the annual St. Pat's in Five Points Parade at 10:00 a.m. sponsored by TD Bank. If you're not too busy Shaggin' on Santee or enjoying the Children's Carnival, make time to search for Logan on the year-round scavenger hunt, The Great Five Points Leprechaun Hunt.

Sounds great, right? Purchase tickets to the festival in advance - or spring for the VIP passes, including a VIP party with complimentary food and drinks at Village Idiot Pizza and Pub all day during the festival! Make a weekend of your celebration, and book a room at a discounted rate at The Inn at Claussen's, Clarion Hotel Downtown, Columbia Marriott Hotel, Hampton Inn Downtown Historic District, Hilton Columbia Center, or Inn at USC.



How would you like to win a famously hot and surprisingly Irish weekend for two?! Enter to win a VIP experience at the festival, two nights at The Inn at Claussen's, famously hot t-shirts and more on Facebook, Twitter or online!

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