St. Patrick's Day will be doubly special for one El Paso couple.
Gregg Carthy, a Franklin High School history teacher who co-hosts KTEP's "Folk Fury" program, and Robin Russell, an associate professor and English department coordinator at El Paso Community College, will tie the knot that day.
It will be a private ceremony at noon Sunday at Ardovino's Desert Crossing in Sunland Park.
Four and a half hours later, they'll harmonize -- literally -- with Celtic Lie, their Irish music band, which will celebrate its 30th anniversary as part of Ardovino's ninth annual St. Patrick's Day Party. Doors open at 2 p.m.
"We're combining it into one, big exhaustion-fest," Russell said with a laugh.
She met Carthy, one of the band's singers, because of Irish music, once guesting on his radio show in the 1980s. Russell joined Celtic Lie in 1988.
Getting married on the occasion of their annual St. Patrick's Day show just made sense, she said "since that was the reason we met in the first place."
The ceremony, for family and friends, will be a version of a centuries-old Irish tradition called handfasting, in which cords are wrapped around the couple's clasped hands, each representing a different vow.
"That should be fun," Russell said, adding they'll honeymoon next summer in Europe.
She feels the same way about performing again with Celtic Lie, which also includes guitarist and bassist Tim Green. It has been on hiatus the last four years
while a fourth member, singer Kate Gannon, was away in Colorado Springs. Gannon is married to Bob Moore, editor of the El Paso Times. "We joke that we're the laziest band in show business," Gannon said.
Their set will be from 4:30 to 6 p.m. and will include limericks, song histories and a combination of traditional and contemporary Irish songs, including Tom Russell's "When Irish Girls Grow Up."
"We mix it up. We do a lot of standards, but not 'Danny Boy.' Gregg and Tim refuse to do it," Russell said.
They'll share a bill with another traditional Irish group and Ardovino's St. Pat's staple, the San Patricios, plus ska-reggae band the Pinsetters, and R&B-jazz group Sha'Vonne and the Vibe.
The day will include traditional Irish food, games, face painting, henna tattoos and an appearance by the El Paso Roller Derby Girls.
Admission is $16; $8 for kids 12 and younger, at the door. Food and vendor tickets are $1 each.
Information: 575-589-0653, ardovinos.com.
A few other St. Pat's events of note:
-- St. Paddy's Day Weekend Street Festival -- Fort Bliss is going green, and we're not just talking about their environment-saving initiatives. The promenade outside Shamrocks Irish Pub in the Freedom Crossing mall, 1611 Haan, will host a two-day celebration that will include Irish bagpipes, food, beer and people dressed up as leprechauns (OK, that one's just for the kids).
Activities will run from noon to midnight Saturday and noon-7 p.m. Sunday. Kids activities, including face painting, will be from noon to 4 p.m. each day.
The adult stuff will include bands, DJs, traditional and grilled food, and, of course, beer. El Paso's Riboflavin, Sha'Vonne and the Vibe, Las Cruces' C.W. Ayon, and bagpipes perform between 3:30 to 10 p.m. Saturday, with Our Friend the Mountain, MainStreet, the Mike Minjarez Band and bagpipers between noon and 6 p.m. Sunday.
Shamrocks, which will have a beer garden, will mark its second anniversary with a countdown to midnight on Saturday. It opened on March 17, 2011.
The festival is open to the public, with a U.S. driver's license or other U.S. government-issued identification. Use the Robert E. Lee or Cassidy gates.
There's no admission charge. Information: 564-5599, freedomcrossingatfortbliss.com.
-- St. Patrick's Day Outdoor Festival -- The all-day event in the parking lot of the Hoppy Monk, 4141 N. Mesa, starts at 10 a.m. Sunday and includes sets by a musically diverse group of bands, including a rare (of late) set by Liquid Cheese, the Las Cruces-El Paso jazz/rock/folk band.
Also performing: Felix y Los Gatos, the Pinsetters, San Patricios, Steady Shakedown and Cult Heroes. Admission is $10 at the door, and costumes are "highly encouraged," says the Monk's Joseph Valenzuela, with the coolest earning free admission.
Commemorative pint glasses to the first 500 who show up. It's restricted to 21 and older. Information: 252-9995, thehoppymonk.com.
-- St. Patty's Sunday Funday -- If you're reveling in Las Cruces this weekend, you might want to check out this indoor and outdoor bash at Dublin's Street Pub, 1745 E. University, near the Pan Am Center.
It starts at noon, will feature traditional Irish food, including corn beef and cabbage, green beer and performances by bands such as the Liars and Blaze the Nation, and DJs such as Corn and Espy.
Tickets are $10, on sale at the pub, Pic Quik stores and at the door. Info: 575-522-0932, dublinsgrill.com.
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