Welcome to our annual St. Patrick's Day special issue. This week you'll find pretty much all the info you need to enjoy the big party, from your basic parade/parking type stuff to a bit of Irish history to an exhaustive entertainment roundup.
In addition to the goofy new wristband/to-go cup idea — requiring you to pay five bucks to do what you could do for free the rest of the year, but only in a gerrymandered area euphemistically called the "Festival Zone" — the other big development this year is the robust ramping-up of the local band presence during the festivities, chronicled by Bill DeYoung.
Bill also takes a gander at the traditional Irish music taking place over the weekend, centering on the activity at Kevin Barry's Irish Pub on River Street.
Jessica Leigh Lebos takes a closer look at the wristband issue, as well as contributing her personal take on what it means to be Irish — when you're not actually Irish.
We like to have fun with the St. Patrick's cover, and this year is no exception. We got in touch with Joshua Branstetter of Jabberpics.com, who delivered both in concept and in execution, with much thanks to the folks at Meddin Studios.
The naughty duo on the cover this week is Jessica Schwartz and Stephen King. Additional models are Savannah Christine and our own contributing writer/Stopover Twitter goddess Jenny Dunn. Makeup for the shoot was by Katherine Taylor.