Corpus Christi embraces Irish culture at 8th annual St. Paddy's Festival

Fans of Ireland living in Corpus Christi sang, danced and cheered with pints of green beer in their hands this weekend to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

The eighth annual St. Paddy’s Festival, which took place in downtown Corpus Christi, featured live music from Irish rock bands, Irish-inspired dishes, a Kids Zone and more than 30 arts and craft vendors Saturday.

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The festival kicked off with the fifth-annual Shamrock Shuffle Run on North Water Street where runners brave enough to face the cold dressed in their bright green neon tutus and socks to celebrate the Irish holiday.

Kids 8 and under also had a chance to participate in the 1K Leprechaun Chase, which included a man dressed as a leprechaun, to win a gold medal.

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More than 16 bands from across Texas made an appearance at the Irish-themed festival. Some of the performers included The Naggins, Brian Brody, Blaggards, Celtic Flair and Silver Thistle Pipes and Drums.

Mike Treiber, owner of Cassidy’s Irish Pub and organizer of the festival, said he started the festival to “bring a touch of Ireland to Corpus Christi.”

“Every year we like to celebrate the Irish tradition,” Treiber said. “We are happy that the celebration has grown into this large festival that everyone can enjoy. … It’s just a great time.”

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Published 8:59 PM EDT Mar 16, 2019