HEPPNER — The leprechauns have been mighty busy in preparation for the Wee Bit o’ Ireland celebration in Heppner.

While the official festivities are March 17-19, Heppner Daycare is rolling out the green carpet early with the St. Paddy’s Trivia Night. Teams of up to six people can match wits with others on Thursday, March 16, 7 p.m. at the Gilliam & Bisbee Building.

The fundraiser also features a raffle, team prizes and a no-host bar by Bucknum’s Tavern. Team registration is $150. For questions, call 541-676-5429.

Shelby Matthews, Heppner Chamber of Commerce events manager, said the festival will be spread all over town. In addition to the regular offerings that people have come to enjoy, there are several new activities.

“It’s such a fun event because there’s so much tradition behind it,” Matthews said. “It’s a community event … with a lot of passion behind it.”

Old favorites on Saturday, March 18 include the O’Ducky Race (ducks sold from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.), Welly Toss (10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.), Leprechaun Race (11 a.m.), Bed Race (11:15 a.m.), the O’Planky Team Relay (11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and The Great Green Parade (1 p.m.).

Also, the Cruz-In Car Show (8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.) revs up for its 21st year. Organizers are requesting pre-registration for several of the activities by Friday, March 10.

The two-day St. Paddy’s vendor market is Friday, March 17, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, March 18, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s being held in two locations — Heppner City Hall and the Morrow County Fairgrounds.

The Sunday O’Brunch, (12-3 p.m.) and Road Bowling (1 p.m.) wraps up the festival on Sunday, March 19.

Stop by the Heppner Elks Lodge, as they get their Irish on throughout Saturday, March 18, beginning with the Irish Coffee Hour at 10 a.m. In addition to music and blarney, it features an Irish Brogue Contest with cash prizes. The afternoon Ceili includes music by Whiskey for Breakfast from 2-4 p.m. And a traditional Irish buffet dinner starts at 5 p.m. Live entertainment continues from 7-11 p.m.

Faded Joe’s Barbershop has jumped right into the festivities. Owner Joe Kindle, Matthews said, will host a pair of tattoo artists, who will be available for walk-ins on both Friday and Saturday, noon to 8 p.m. In addition, the shop is hosting the Wee Bit o’ Chili Cook Off on Saturday, March 18, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“He’s a local that came back home,” Matthews said of Kindle. “He has the St. Patrick’s spirit so he was all about getting back into the celebration.”

A new activity for the younger ones, Matthews said, is Lil’ Leprechaun Shenanigans. Featuring inflatable fun, crafts and activities for the little ones, it is March 18, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Also, to help people preserve St. Patrick’s memories, a free photo booth by D2 Photography will be available Saturday, March 18, 1-5 p.m.

The festivities also include a variety of food and music. To view a full schedule of events, visit bit.ly/41zVR9T.

Registration forms are available via bit.ly/3Zm3ZJy. For questions, contact 541-676-5536 or heppnerchamber@gmail.com.

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