St. Patrick's Day in September

Celebrate being halfway to Paddy's Day with this weekend's Irish events

Remember celebrating your half-birthday as a kid? Six months out from your actual day of birth, you maybe got half a cake or a half-hearted pat on the back from your parents for being halfway to the next year's big day.

If we celebrated other holidays in the same manner, this weekend would mark half-St. Patrick's Day. A trio of events around the state on this weekend mark our halfway point to Paddy's Day 2017 — and there's nothing half-hearted about these celebrations. Bust out your green clothes, pour yourself a pint of the black stuff, and check out the best Celtic events you'll find this side of the Atlantic.

The Wild Rover Celtic Fest

Calling itself a "holy trinity of events," the Wild Rover Celtic Festival offers three opportunities to get involved. The day begins with the Halfway to St. Patrick's Day 5K through downtown Manchester, and then the party really starts. A rollicking Celtic festival, featuring music, dancing, food, and crafts from Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, takes over Kosciuszko Street (home of festival host The Wild Rover Pub) all day long. In addition to the fun, the fest is also a certified head-shaving event for the St. Baldrick's Foundation. Sign up to shave your head — or donate to the efforts of those who do — and you'll be supporting the foundation's mission of funding research for childhood cancer.

Sunday, September 18, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., The Wild Rover Pub, 21 Kosciuszko St., Manchester

Dropkick Murphys Irish Festival

For those who like their Irish culture a bit more Boston than Dublin, the Dropkick Murphys Irish Festival is a must. The "I'm Shipping Up to Boston" singers have rounded up a group of other Celtic-inspired musicians, including Old Brigade and The Pogues' James Fearnley, to join them for a nine-hour roster of live tunes spread across two stages, but the day doesn't stop with music. Eight bouts of professional boxing from Murphys Boxing will also take place at the event (including fighters Spike O'Sullivan and Mark Deluca), as will a more traditional Gaelic festival on the midway featuring keg bowling and stein hoisting competitions.

Saturday, September 17, 2:30-11:30 p.m., Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion, 72 Meadowbrook Ln., Gilford

New Hampshire Highland Games & Festival

Okay, okay: this one's Scottish. But lovers of all things kilt and bagpipe would be remiss to skip this massive celebration of Gaelic culture. The New Hampshire Highland Games & Festival includes world-class competition in traditional heavy athletics such as the caber toss and hammer throw, performances from fiddlers and Highland dancers, and a clan village where you can explore your (real or wished-for) Scottish roots. There are dozens of different events and activities spread across Loon Mountain Resort throughout the weekend, so take a look at the festival guide to form a game plan before heading up north.

Friday, September 16, to Sunday, September 18, Loon Mountain Resort, 60 Loon Mountain Rd., Lincoln