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Take the kids this weekend: St. Patrick’s Day parades and more

Gisele Sanchez dances with Alma Boliviana, a folk dance group from Bolivia, while participating in the 12th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade hosted by he City of Gaithersburg in 2012. (Astrid Riecken/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

Our friends at the Going Out Guide recommend the following family-friendly activities this weekend:

Sat., March 16

Gaithersburg St. Patrick’s Day parade: The parade includes bagpipe bands, Celtic dancers, clowns, fire trucks and live entertainment. Sponsored by the Harp and Shamrock Society and the City of Gaithersburg. Grand Marshal for this year's parade is Stanley J. Alster, 2012 Gaithersburg Distinguished Citizen. Live entertainment on the Lakefront Plaza will follow the parade. The parade is from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at Washingtonian Center, Rio Boulevard and Washington Boulevard in Gaithersburg. Free.

Dance, Play and Feast your way at Nowruz: A Persian New Year!: There might not be a ball drop at midnight, but there will be plenty of ways to ring in the new year Persian-style. In addition to Persian dancing and food, families can learn about fire jumping, listen to a storyteller and try Persian games including chess and backgammon. And don't miss the exhibit “The Cyrus Cylinder and Ancient Persia: A New Beginning,” which brings the unique artifact to America for the first time. The free event is from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Smithsonian’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, 1050 Independence Ave. SW. For information call 202-633-1000.

Storytime with the Washington Redskins’ Josh Morgan: The National Children’s Museum celebrates Dr. Seuss’s birthday with a month of events celebrating reading. For this event, the wide receiver will read “Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain: A Nandi Tale,” Verna Aardema’s tale of a young hero who saves his African village by ending a drought. Morgan will read from 1:30 to 1:45 p.m. and 1:45 to 2 p.m. Saturday at the museum, 151 St. George Blvd., National Harbor. Admission to the museum is $10. For information call 301-392-2400.

Rich & The Rockin’ Dogs: When a family-friendly band counts the Foo Fighters, Eric Church and AC/DC among the groups it aims to emulate, parents can trust their kids are going to get a squeaky-clean introduction to the world of rock. The group will perform at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, 545 7th St. SE in the District. Tickets are $5.50. For information call 202-643-4492.

Sun., March 17

D.C. St. Patrick’s Day Parade: This year’s D.C. St. Patrick’s Day Parade celebrates the theme “Celebrating Service to the Stars and Stripes,” with Admiral Mike Mullen, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, serving as grand marshall. Grandstands and judges are between 15th and 16th streets, so optimal viewing is likely to be in that general vicinity. The parade is at noon Sunday along Constitution Avenue between 7th and 17th streets NW. Free; $15 for grandstand tickets.



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