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More than 240 years ago, soldiers helped create the first St. Patrick’s Day parade — homesick Irish soldiers, to be exact, in the English army stationed in New York City.

The holiday is the biggest of the year in Ireland, and holds a special place in the hearts of millions of Irish-for-a-day.

Around the Pacific, clubs will hold special Irish-themed events and bases will host athletic contests and special events for children.

On base and off, there’s plenty of green to be celebrated. Here are some of the highlights:

JapanTokyo

The largest St. Patrick’s Day event in Tokyo is the parade held in Harajuku on Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Participants include the U.S. Army Japan Band from Camp Zama.

Camp Zama

Sunday brunch with Irish specialties, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Community Club.

Naval Air Facility Atsugi

Shake Your Shamrock 5K fun run Friday at Halsey Gym. Sign up by 11 a.m., run starts at noon. Also, St. Patrick’s Day Party at the Officers Club, 5:15 p.m. Friday. Call DSN 264-3620 for information.

Yokosuka Naval Base

Friday: Lunch and party 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Kosano Dining Room followed at 6 p.m. by green beer, Irish food and karaoke. Several base restaurants will serve Irish fare or offer discounts to green-clad customers. The Child Development Center will host a parade from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Officers Club to host Viva Las Vegas Night “with a touch of Irish,” featuring a Vegas-style buffet, live entertainment and casino. Admission is $29.95 per ticket. The event may be canceled if not enough advance tickets are sold. Call DSN 243-5030 to check on plans.

Saturday: St. Paddy’s Day 5K and 1-mile fun run/walk at 9 a.m. at Negishi Housing Area.

Sunday: Green pins will be set up at the Yokosuka Bowling Center. Hit a strike that includes a green pin and be entered to win a St. Patrick’s Day bowling ball.

Yokota Air Base

On Friday, guess the weight of the Blarney stone and the number of jellybeans in the “pot o’ gold” at the Taiyo Recreation Center to win a prize. From 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., the West Youth Center has music, food and door prizes and the East Youth Center has a Green and White Party planned from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Enlisted Club members can head to the Shogun Lounge for a St. Patrick’s Day Party from 6 to 9 p.m. Officers Club members can wear the green in the Samurai Lounge from 5 to 11 p.m.

Misawa Air Base

Comedy show Friday featuring stateside comedians Dax Jordan and Dijon at the Misawa Collocated Club. Doors open in the Tohoku Ballroom at 8 p.m., show starts at 9 p.m. The show, which has a “strong-content” advisory, is free for club members, $10 for nonmembers. Must be 18 or older. All ranks welcome. Call DSN 222-9512 for more details. Also Friday, the Tohoku Ballroom will host a special social hour from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Club members free, nonmembers $10. Ages 18 and older welcome.

Sasebo Naval Base

Happy hour with music and free appetizers at Galaxies Club on Friday from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Harbor View Club will feature Irish specialties Friday. Happy hour 5-7 p.m. at Hog Heaven and Chief Petty Officers Lounge on Friday.

Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni

Happy Hour on Friday, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., in all club lounges. Also Friday, the St. Patrick’s Day 2.5K and 5K Fun Run at Torii Pines Golf Course. Check-in at 3:30 p.m. 2.5K youth and teens event starts at 4:30 p.m. and 5K for 17 and older starts at 5 p.m. Free entry. Trophies will be awarded to first, second and third place in each age group. For more info, call DSN 253-6578.

GuamAndersen Air Force Base

Boonies hosts a party from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, with free hors d’oeuvres, green beverages and games.

U.S. Naval Base Guam — Coloring contests at the library, through Monday, for several age groups.

OkinawaTorii Station

Saturday: 10K Fun Run, 8 a.m. Entry is $5. Call DSN 644-4334 for information.

Camps Foster and Lester

Friday: 5K run/walk on Camp Lester. Kids’ “Fun Run” starts at 6:30 p.m., followed by the run/walk at 7. Awards will be given out to top finishers in the individual and team categories and for “Irish Pride.” Irish-themed attire is encouraged. For more information, contact Capt. Koloski at DSN 645-0862 or Lt. Condon at DSN 643-7680.

March 23: The Kishaba Youth Center will host a day of fun for children with a St. Patrick’s Day party from 2 to 5 p.m. The staff will dish up some Irish cuisine and a DJ will spin tunes. The III MEF Band will perform from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. For more information, call DSN 645-8012 or stop by Building 24 on Camp Foster.

Marine Corps bases

Friday: Marine Corps Community Services clubs will host various Irish-themed events on Friday, including special lunches, buffets and dinners. For more information on each club’s event, go to www.mccsokinawa. com.

Kadena Air Base

Friday: The Banyan Tree Airmen’s Club will hold a toga party in the lounge from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. Those who wear a toga get in free. For more information, call the club at DSN 634-2212.

The Rocker NCO Club will hold a St. Patrick’s-style adults-only member appreciation night from 5 to 9 p.m. in the ballroom. Club members can enjoy a free buffet-style dinner, and cash and prizes will be given out throughout the event. For more information, call DSN 634-0740.

The Youth Center will host a St. Patrick’s Day activity from 4 to 5 p.m. in which kids 6 to 12 can make candy containers. For more information, call the Youth Center at DSN 634-0500.

Saturday: The Kadena Officers Club will host a “girls’ night out” from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. The club will give away a bracelet worth more than $1,000. For more information, call the Officers Club at DSN 634-3663.

Emery Lanes will hold a 9-pin no-tap tournament. Sign-ups begin at 6:30 p.m. and the tournament kicks off at 7. A “strike-pot-o’-gold” — a container filled with assorted items — will be given away during each of the three games. Tickets for the contest are $1 each. The bowler must throw a natural strike when his or her ticket is called to win the pot-o’-gold. For more information, call Emery Lanes at DSN 634-2290.

South KoreaCamp Red Cloud

Dinner special at Mitchell’s on Friday, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., including corned beef and cabbage, green draft beer or a Guinness. Party at Community Activity Center at 6 p.m. Friday.

Camp Casey

St. Patrick’s Day Contest Friday at 5 p.m. at the Community Activity Center.

K-16

Boss Night, bring your boss to K-16 Club for St. Patrick’s Day.

Camp Humphreys

Alaska Mining Company Irish Luncheon Buffet including corned beef and cabbage, Gammon ham steak, Irish stew, boiled potatoes and carrots. Served Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., $7.95. Call DSN 754-3103 for more information. Also Friday, Shelly Laras country concert and party at Tommy D’s. Green beer starts at 8 p.m. Look for party favors and two contests: best Irish jig and best “Danny Boy” karaoke rendition. Call DSN 753-8257 for more information.

Osan Air Base

The Officers Club, Challenger Club and Mustang Club will serve green beer and hold other festivities beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Friday.

Chinhae Naval Base

Party begins at 8 p.m. Friday at Duffy’s Club. Free Irish food will be served and green beer and Midori will be on special. Contests include best limerick and best dressed. A $110 stereo system will be raffled and the JIVA house band will provide entertainment.

Yongsan Garrison

Irish party at Dragon Hill Lodge’s Bentley’s Pub on Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. Anyone wearing green gets a free gift (while supplies last). Irish music, food and more. Pot o’ Gold contest at the Main Post Club Friday with free food, live DJ, door prizes and green beer. Contact the club for more information. Corned beef and cabbage lunch special at Commiskey’s Family Restaurant on Friday.

Off-base

BH Productions presents Irish play “Waiting for Godot,” at The Space Theatre, near Anguk Station’s Exit 3. The play runs through April 8, but Saturday is a “Gala Night” to raise money for charity. Tickets are 40,000 won (about $40) and include a finger-food and wine reception at 7:30 p.m. and performance at 8:30 p.m. Call 02-794-4624 or e-mail thebhpcompany@yahoo.com to make reservations. Contact director Bernard Hughes at 019-802-2474 or assistant director Kirstie Bromenshenk at 016-695-4624 for more information.

St. Patrick’s Parade Sunday at 2:30 p.m. at Hyewha Station. Meet at 2 p.m. at the SNU Middle School, on the southeast corner of Daehagno Street. Everyone is invited to join the Seoul Metropolitan Police Band, the U.S. Army’s 2nd Infantry Division Band and Lotte World’s women’s bagpipe band.

Outdoor International Concert on Sunday at 4 p.m. at Marronnier Park, near Hyewha Subway Station. Concert will feature Irish and Korean singers and dancers.

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