Faces of Ireland kicks off city’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities Sunday

Faces of Ireland kicks off city’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities Sunday

PAWTUCKET – A perennial city favorite, the Faces of Ireland, returns this Sunday, Feb. 18, from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Celtic Pub, 755 Broadway. The event kicks off the city’s various events centered on St. Patrick’s Day.

Organizer Tom Rogers said this year’s winning faces will again be selected based on noise from the crowd. Contestants won’t be revealed until the event.

“When they show up, we’ll find out,” he said.

Sunday’s event is the precursor to the annual Pawtucket St. Patrick’s Parade on March 3, starting at noon. Faces of Ireland features 50/50 raffle prizes, shirts and pins, music by Tom Brennan, food, and a guest appearance by the Rhode Island Firefighters Pipes and Drums.

This year’s parade grand marshal is Neil Flynn, who helps run the Galway Bay Irish Pub. He’ll be honored at a Grand Marshal Dinner on Friday, March 2, at Murphy’s Law Irish Pub, 3 George St.

The city’s annual Irish 5K road race will happen at 11 a.m. on March 3, right before the parade. The parade will follow the same route as always, starting behind McCoy Stadium. It can be viewed from South Bend, Walcott, across the highway down past Apex, and ending at City Hall.

An after party is planned to start immediately after the March 3 parade inside the Pawtucket Armory, 172 Exchange St. Come for food, drinks, vendors, and live Irish music from 1 p.m. until the early evening.

The cost is $2 cash at the door for entry. Vendors and food and drink items are likely to be cash only as well.

The Armory will open by 10 a.m. that morning for runners to come get their numbers for the race. Visit www.irish5k .com for more.