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Five fine (non-boozy) Irish contributions to Vegas

The Irish contribute more to Southern Nevada culture than brews and pubs. Yes, they contribute those, too. But if, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, you’re interested in consuming more than green beer, here are some good starting points:

Dancing: At least three schools — Scoil Rince Ni Riada Irish Dance, Sharon Lynn’s Celtic Crown and Carrolier Academy of Irish Dance – teach the spry step made famous by Michael Flatley. Who needs a river? Just dance!

Music: There is Celtic/Irish music to be taken in locally beyond high-profile bands such as Sin E Ri Ra (the house band for Nine Fine Irishmen in New York New York). They encompass a variety of styles, from Killian’s Angels’ energetic rock to the classical bagpiping of Chris Weidner (see him play on a hill above Las Vegas here). Search/book local Irish and Celtic acts at GigSalad.com.

People: Irish expats, you are not alone. See InterNations’ Irish Las Vegas page to search others of your kind. Or you could go straight to the Irish American Club of Las Vegas or the Las Vegas Celtic Society. For a more historical perspective, check out Michael Green’s chapter, “The Irish,” in the 2010 book More Peoples of Las Vegas.

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Rugby!: We have our very own band of tough guys in short-shorts, the Las Vegas Irish RFC (although, judging from its photo stream, the style du jour dictates a hem-dropping under-garment). On its Facebook page, the group says it welcomes all players, as well as those interested in learning.

St. Baldrick’s: This global fight against childhood cancer has a Las Vegas edition, which takes place at McMullan’s Irish Pub (okay, so this one’s indirectly boozy). It’s currently ranked third by the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, with 568 participants raising $419,887.

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