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SPECIAL EVENTS : Festivities Get a Jump on St. Patrick's Day

March 11, 1993|RICK VANDERKNYFF | Rick VanderKnyff is a free-lance writer who contributes regularly to The Times Orange County Edition.

Mission Viejo will be the Orange County center for St. Patrick's Day activities Sunday, with a 5K run and rock concert at Saddleback College in the morning, and the city's 24th annual St. Patrick's Day parade along Marguerite Parkway starting at noon.

Meanwhile, in Midway City, the Brothers of St. Patrick again will host a day of traditional Irish festivities, including traditional music, Irish football and an open-air Mass in Gaelic, the little-spoken but still official language of the Irish Republic.

The "Shamrock 'n' Roll" 5K run will begin at 8 a.m. in front of the Saddleback College gym, on College Drive East. The course ends on the college football stadium infield, where a concert featuring the band Sam and the Moonlighters will have started at 8:15. A 2K walk leaves the gym at 9 a.m.

More than 100 entries, including bands and floats, are to join the parade, which will proceed along Marguerite from Olympiad Boulevard to Alicia Parkway.

The fourth annual St. Patrick's Family Festival at the home of the Brothers of St. Patrick in the unincorporated community of Midway City, near Westminster, will begin with the open-air Mass at 11 a.m.

Other festivities, beginning at noon, will include Irish football, hurling (an Irish game resembling field hockey) and camogie (the female version of the game).

There'll be traditional Irish dancing and music from the Mulligans and the Fenians, and Irish stew and bread, corned beef sandwiches, and corned beef and cabbage dinners. Hamburgers and hot dogs will also be available.

The festival has drawn between 5,000 and 6,000 visitors in years past. "I think it's regarded as a very authentic Irish celebration," says Brother Edwin Guidera, a member of the novitiate. "This place is very well known not only among the Irish but among a lot of people here in Southern California."

Proceeds from the festival will go into a retirement fund for the brothers.

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