St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner, and what better way to get in the spirit of the holiday than by attending the 2012 Los Angeles County Irish Fair? This year marks the 10th anniversary of the fair/music festival. This family event boasts seven stages with over 2,000 performers and plenty of kid-friendly fun. Make sure you wear green so you don’t get pinched!

When to Go: Saturday, March 10th and Sunday, March 11th from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. Note: the early bird gets the worm since those purchasing the first 1000 adult tickets at the gate on each day will receive a ticket to the European Renaissance Festival. Two festivals for the price of one – what a deal!

Admission & Getting There: The Los Angeles Irish Fair is held at the Fairplex at the Pomona Fairgrounds at 1101 West McKinley Avenue, Pomona, CA 91766. Parking at Gate 9 costs $9. Tickets may be purchased at the gate with cash only. Children age 11 and under are free, general admission for adults is $18, seniors age 55 and over cost $16, students with valid student ID, $16. Pay $28 for a 2-day pass. You can also purchase tickets in advance online.

Planning Your Visit: Get the lay of the land down pat before heading to the fair by printing out a handy venue map. You can survey the map and make a plan to see all the things you and the little ones want to see.

What to Do: Since you’re with kiddos, you’ll want to enjoy all of the activities geared especially for little ones. Head straight to Leprechaun Village to play “winner-every-time” games, listen to storytellers, get your face painted, go to the petting zoo, ride a pony, bounce, see a balloon artist and ride carnival-style rides.

Dive into the Irish culture by watching a performance from the McCartan School of Irish Dance, performing on the Irish Cultural stage both days. There will also be a High Noon parade featuring bands from local schools, led by a large leprechaun! And expect to be spoiled with choices by all of the additional performances on the fair’s seven stages. Irish music from bands including “The Mulligans,” and “The Twilight Lords,” will make listeners merry, and the “Cripple Creek Cloggers” are sure to bring the audience to their feet.

Additionally, there will be sheepherding demonstrations, an Irish dog show, plenty of shopping for Irish imports and wares in the Celtic Village. Save time to visit the Irish Tea Room to indulge in delectable homemade Irish treats, scones, coffee and tea.

Where to Eat: There is plenty of Irish themed food to be savored: Irish stew in a bread bowl, bangers, fish & chips, corned beef sandwiches, shepherd’s pie and more. While not particularly Irish, hot dogs are always a foolproof option for the kids, and they will be there too. There’s also a yummy Irish buffet. Note: No outside food or beverages are allowed.

Online: la-irishfair.com

Do you have any insider tips on taking your kids to the L.A. County Irish Fair and Music Festival?

–Beth Shea