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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

St. Paddy's Day on the Novy Arbat

It is becoming one of the foreign community's telltale signs of spring: For the third year running, the Irish Embassy and the Irish Airline AerRianta is sponsoring a St. Patrick's Day parade down Novy Arbat, complete with majorettes, floats and banners.

About 50 foreign and Russian firms and 10 bands will participate in the boisterous parade, which takes place this Sunday, March 13. The parade sets off from the intersection of Novy Arbat and the Garden Ring, and will move toward the Kremlin, stopping at the Arbat Irish House.

With St. Patrick's Day -- March 17 -- falling on a Thursday, the celebrations will continue the next weekend with the Emerald Ball, a gala dinner and dance at the Olympic Penta Hotel, on Saturday, March 19 to benefit Moscow's Orphanage No. 24.

Ambassador Patrick McCabe will host the event. The menu includes shrimp salad in whisky, Guiness-braised fillet of beef, and Bailey's Irish Cream torte, said AerRianta's Patsy Lyons. Tickets, at $100, are nearly sold out, but can still be bought from Lyons or Fionuala Gill at 209-9226 or 578-2756.

Although only about 220 Irish citizens live in Moscow, their presence is strongly felt, thanks to two Irish grocery stores and Irish pubs, as well as the Moscow Duty Free shops, which are run by a joint venture between AerRianta and Aeroflot.