Dublin, the Irish Capitol of Texas, welcomed a large crowd of visitors for the city’s 37TH Annual St. Patrick’s Day Festival.

The event got underway Thursday as Summer Time Amusements got things rolling with the opening of their tradition al-style traveling carnival which offered an array of game booths and rides for children of all ages. Bracelets were offered to the advantage of opening night attendees who enjoyed limitless s rides for one low price

The carnival continued through Friday night and a free dance featuring music provided by KSTV’s Grieg Mayberry had everyone swinging to the beat.

Teams of all skill levels signed up to take part in the St. Patty’s Day Softball Tournament at City Park. The competition kicked off Friday evening and continued through Saturday’s celebration.

Crowds filled the streets of Dublin and the Irish spirit thickened as The Celtic Parade made its way through town. Businesses and organizations from across the county stepped (or rolled) out in anything and everything green.

Irish pride was appearnt as gold and green adorned the windows and walls of local businesses . Parade and festival goers shared in the spirit as dozens of shirts could be seen bearing the slogan “Kiss me I’m Irish.”

The event proved to be for more than just local as attendees came from across the state to share in the good time. J.C. Steen said he came from Dallas for a day of Irish delight. He and Duane Hines, of Lipan, have made their own tradition of the annual event.

“I drive down from Dallas every year,” Steen said. “This will make our sixth consecutive year celebrating St. Patty’s Day in Dublin. It’s a great time and I wouldn’t miss it for anything.”

Twins Kaitlyn and Carl John Welch, 9, whose grandmother lives in Dublin, have made an annual excursion from their Odessa home to take part in the fun. The kids agreed that the celebration had become a tradition for their family as well.

Following the parade, Dublin Dr Pepper served up green Dublin Dr Pepper and Dr Pepper floats, made the old-fashioned way with just a touch of Irish. The bottling company and city’s museums welcomed locals and guests on a trip through Dublin history.

From downtown, the green clad crowd made its way to City Park where the celebration kicked into high gear.

Musical entertainment was offered throughout the day including Irish-inspired Rickey Pittman. The Breckenridge Hot Footers and Dublin’s Cloverleaf Square Dancers kept up the Celtic beat, performing traditional dance.

A slew of food vendors and artisans made sure no one walked away empty-handed.

Kilt clad sportsmen showed off their strength at the Highland Games.

The CASA Car & Motorcycle show, new to this year’s celebration, drew great attention, with about fifty entrants, who se well polished hot rods helped to raise money for a good cause. New Also new to this year’s celebration were the Irish and Scottish Clan displays and the Texas Round-up mechanical bull.

When it was all said and done, if only for one day, there was little bit of Irish in everyone. In celebration of heritage and history Dublin, TX again showed its Celtic pride.