Luck of the Irish: Perfect weather draws thousands to celebrate St. Patrick's Day early

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St. Patrick's Day festivities were underway in full force this weekend as thousands of people dressed in green crowded the streets of St. Paul.

The city hosted its first-ever LuckyPalooza on two blocks of West Seventh Street Saturday from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. three days before its traditional St. Patrick's Day celebration.

Saturday's warm weather helped draw an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 people to the area, Cossetta's manager Ryan Caufield told WCCO.

Event goers told WCCO it was the most crowded St. Patrick's Day in St. Paul they could remember.

In past years, the restaurants along West Seventh Street have held their own St. Patrick's Day celebrations, but in some instances large crowds forced police to close portions of the road, the Pioneer Press reports. But this year's event was more formal.

“The goal is to show people visiting that St. Patrick’s Day is a big day in St. Paul, and we know how to celebrate it,” event spokesman Adam Johnson told the Star Tribune.

The idea for LuckyPalooza came out of the city's success with Red Bull Crashed Ice, so organizers decided to do it again for St. Patrick's Day, reports say.

Visit St. Paul teamed up with restaurants along the street that helped finance the event, which featured live music, food, beverages and a Red Bull stunt show. Cosettas, McGovern's and Burger Moe's threw tent parties in addition to the block party.

Earlier in the day, about 11,000 runners clad in green took part in the Get Lucky Half Marathon and 7K races through St. Paul and Minneapolis, the Star Tribune says, with post celebrations held at Kieran's Irish Pub, The Local, Cooper Pub and The Liffey, KSTP notes.

People line streets for St. Urho

St. Patrick wasn't the only saint celebrated this weekend.

Over 1,000 people lined Highway 1 in Finland, Minnesota, to celebrate St. Urho's Day – according to the relatively new legend, Urho drove the grasshoppers out of the country of Finland to save the grape crops, WDIO reports.

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