DEADWOOD (3/6/2012) – The luck ‘o the Irish is alive and well this St. Patrick’s Day in Deadwood.

The annual St. Paddy’s celebrations kick off Friday, March 16, with the first annual Leprechaun Olympics. These games will be held at five different locations on Deadwood’s Main Street. Registration for the Olympics will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Oyster Bay, with the games running from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Score cards must be returned to the Oyster Bay by 9:30 p.m., and winners will receive prizes. Open container regulations will be relaxed from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on March 16 as well.

On Saturday, March 17, the annual St. Patrick’s Day pub crawl – which drew nearly 1,200 people in 2011 – takes place. Registration for the pub crawl is from noon to 3 p.m. at the Franklin Hotel, with the crawl beginning at 3 p.m. The annual St. Patrick’s Day parade kicks off at 7 p.m., followed by the pub crawl awards and St. Paddy’s Day party at the Franklin Hotel at 9 p.m. Open containers will be allowed from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. on March 17. These events are organized and run by the Deadwood Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau.

With St. Patrick’s Day falling on a Saturday, Deadwood Chamber officials anticipate a large turnout. “St. Patrick’s Day festivities have some history in Deadwood, and the celebration has really taken off in recent years. This year, since we can plan full-day events on the actual holiday, we are optimistic crowds will reach even new levels,” said George Milos, executive director of the Deadwood Chamber of Commerce and Visitor’s Bureau.