If you must pack an umbrella Thursday, make it green.
The Irish-American Heritage Society and Irish wannabes will be celebrating St. Patrick's Day in Augusta from morning to night despite a 70 percent chance of rain.
The 25th annual auction for the Augusta-Area New-comers Club will start at 10 a.m. at Augusta Country Club, 655 Milledge Road. Proceeds will benefit the Fort Gordon Christmas House. Items for auction include condo vacations, paintings and hand-crafted works, said Renata Coker , an organizer. Call 447-8696.
The church once known as St. Patrick's, the Catholic Church of the Most Holy Trinity at 720 Telfair St., will open its doors at noon to the Irish Lady of the Year, Mary Ward; the Irish Family of the Year, P. Ferris and Carol "Bootsie" Dorr ; and parade Grand Marshal Daniel Walter. Mass will be celebrated.
Mr. Walter will perform his duties in the 28th annual St. Patrick's Day parade, which starts at 2 p.m.
The John Regan family joined the parade its first year. The family float came later, an accommodation to the youngest members, who were better riders than walkers, Mr. Regan said.
He and some 35 relatives and friends will wait until Thursday morning to top off their float with the family crest and a blaze of orange, white and green before lining up in the staging area at the Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center on Seventh Street.
Participants will come from as far as Savannah and Atlanta, said Joel Surles, the parade chairman. He expects between 70 and 90 entrants will travel the route along Telfair, 11th, Broad and Sixth streets to end at Sixth and Reynolds streets.
A Leprechaun Wonderland of performers, bands, carnival rides, concessions, face-painting and vendors' exhibiting arts and crafts will cover the Augusta Common from noon until 9 p.m. Admission is free, although the last ride ends at 6 p.m., said Yolanda Marshall, the special events manager.
Eryn Eubanks and the Family Fold, The Hushpuppies and other musicians will play from noon to 10 p.m. at Riverwalk Augusta's Eighth Street plaza, where there will also be food and arts and crafts vendors.
Bands at the Jessye Norman Amphitheater, Riverwalk Augus-ta at Ninth Street, will be planning an Irish surprise, organizer Coco Rubio said. Gates will open at 4 p.m. Redbelly will be the first to perform at 4:30 p.m., followed by the Shaun Piazza Band at 6 and Drive-by Truckers at 7:30. Admission is $15. See www.soulbar.com.
Reach Virginia Norton at (706) 823-3336 or firstname.lastname@example.org.