England: London turns green Sunday as the city celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with an all-things-Irish festival on Trafalgar Square. From 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Irish music, ceili dancing, crafts, stilt walkers and street theater will fill the area. The St. Patrick’s Day parade − with floats, marching bands and groups representing the counties of Ireland − leaves from Piccadilly at noon for Trafalgar Square. Get the full program at day.


Put more than 22,000 dogs together in Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre and what do you have? The annual Crufts, the world’s largest dog show. It runs through Sunday with canines vying for the chance to be top dog with the title of "Best of Show." Watch as they compete, learn about more than 200 pedigree breeds, check out the Good Citizen Dog Scheme training program, get tips on working with your dog, talk to dog experts and take home souvenirs for your canine buddy at more than 400 trade stands.

Daily tickets purchased in advance cost 13 pounds for adults and 9 pounds for children 5 to 15. A four-day ticket costs 46 pounds. Note that no dogs other than those in the show are permitted.

Find more details at

Germany: Munich has been holding St. Patrick’s Day festivities for 14 years, and organizers claim the celebration is one of the largest outside Dublin.

At 7 p.m. Saturday the party starts with Irish music and entertainment at the Hacker-Pschorr Bräuhaus. At 2:30 p.m. Sunday the St. Patrick’s Day parade leaves from Münchner Freiheit square and travels to Odeonsplatz.

From there visitors can continue partying in various pubs throughout the city. More details at

Ireland: And then there’s the big celebration in Ireland itself — the St. Patrick’s Day festival and parade in Dublin, which starts Friday and continues through Wednesday. Just 15 years old, the festivities include comedy acts, exhibitions, a fun fair, walking tours, a stiletto-heels race, Irish-language events, ceili dancing, poetry readings and, of course, Irish music.

The grand parade leaves Parnell Square at noon Wednesday under the theme "Extraordinary World" and with a colorful international cast of marching bands, street theater and floats.

Get the full schedule at

Let's goSki in April

Enjoy high-elevation snow, the warmth of the spring sun and extra hours of sunlight on a ski trip to Val Thorens, France, offered April 3-10 and April 10-17 by Scherer Tours.

Les Trois Vallées ski resort is the highest in Europe at 7,544 feet. It has hundreds of miles of marked runs, 200 interconnected lifts and a choice of more than 20 descents.

The trip offers a different ski safari every day. For example, the "10,000-Vertical-Meter Day" lets you ski that distance and explore the entire dimension of the resort’s circuit. Another tour is a challenging day of skiing 71 black, or advanced, runs.

Other activities at the resort include snowmobiling, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

The cost is 395 euros per person in a four-person apartment. The price includes bus transportation from Frankfurt and Heidelberg, Germany, accommodation in the apartment, linens, seven nights on the slope and events.

For more details, call Scherer Tours at telephone (+49) (0)931-409046. E-mail

Snowdonia by rail

The north of Wales, known for its stunning natural scenery, is home to Snowdonia National Park, with its volcano-rock mountains and valleys full of wildlife. Wales’ highest peak, Yr Wyddfa, is located here.

Steam-driven trains run through this countryside offering a nostalgic way to see the views. The Welsh Highland Railway offers an almost-17-mile ride starting from Caernarfon castle and returning from Hafod y Llyn. However, starting May 27, the railway’s new extension to Pont Croesor will be open.

The route travels through the foothills of Snowdon and climbs from sea level to 650 feet and high into the Snowdonian Mountains. There it twists up and down through the peaks then heads through the Aberglaslyn Pass, which the National Trust has voted "the most scenic view in the U.K." Four stops along the way allow visitors to take a break in quaint Welsh villages.

The rail line is open from March 27 through December. Fares depend on the destination. An adult round-trip from Caernarfon to Pont Croesor costs 28 pounds (about $42; single fare is 18.70 pounds or about $28). One child under 16 travels free with each adult, with additional children at half fare. All children under 3 travel free.

Reduced fare to village stops also is available. Dogs and bicycles are allowed. See details at

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now