PARADE. Keeping with the traditional Irish celebration, Philadelphia's parade will be preceded by a Mass at St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church (20th and Locust) at 11 a.m. Sunday. The celebrant will be Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua. A reception will follow in the church hall and then everyone will head to 20th and the Parkway, where the parade steps off at 1:15 p.m., rain or shine.
Bagpipers, dancers, drummers, string bands and floats - 15,000 in all, and perhaps 10 times as many spectators - will march past the judges at Independence Hall, ending at Fifth and Market. Information: 215-945-0563.
And the Irish Culture Club of Wilmington sponsors its annual parade at noon on Saturday, north on King Street from Fourth to 15th, where refreshments, commemorative mugs and dry goods will be available at a mini ``hooley'' in St. Patrick's Church. Information: 302-426-6422.
THE CASSIDYS. ``We were surrounded by music from an early age and the group just evolved,'' said Odhran Cassidy, who performs Sunday with four of his brothers, known in Ireland as Na Casaidigh, at the Glassboro Center for the Arts. ``There's a great intuition among people who have grown up playing together.''
The family genes give the group a unique blend of melodies and harmony. Raised in a small town in County Donegal where the Gaelic language thrived, the Cassidys decided to try to keep the dying language alive by singing mostly in Gaelic - but don't worry, they'll explain the story lines.
Aside from the fiddle and flute, the brothers incorporate the piano, viola, bass and harpsichord into their repertoire, which includes traditional Irish songs as well as original pieces.
``It's important that new music is composed,'' Odhran said. ``Each of us is having a go at writing things.''
The Cassidys, at Rowan College, Glassboro Center for the Arts, Wilson Concert Hall, Route 322 East, Glassboro, at 7 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $14.50, $19 and $23.50. Phone: 609-256-4545.
THE CLANCY BROTHERS. More men - Liam, Pat and Bobby Clancy, a.k.a. the Clancy Brothers - join their nephew, Robbie O'Connell, at the Valley Forge Music Fair tonight.
Since the early '60s, the Clancy Brothers (sometimes with Tommy Makem) have been belting out Irish folk, traditional and drinking songs. ``Four Green Fields,'' about the separation and desired reunification of the four provinces of Ireland, may be more relevant today than when it was written in 1968.
Another song they made popular, ``Finnegan's Wake,'' humorously captures the spirit of an Irish wake. Others you're likely to hear: ``The Wild Rover'' and ``Jug of Punch.''
Cherish the Ladies, the popular Irish female ensemble, and singer Carmel Quinn, will open the show.
The Clancy Brothers, with Cherish the Ladies and Carmel Quinn, at Valley Forge Music Fair, off Route 202, Devon, at 8 tonight. Tickets: $22.50. Phone: 610-644-5000.
DANCING ALONG. If, when hearing the lively fiddles, flutes and tin whistles of Irish music, you're not satisfied with just tapping your feet or clapping along, two places will give you the opportunity to kick the dirt off your boots.
The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick are hosting their annual dinner dance at the Marriott in West Conshohocken on Saturday. The Emerald Pipe Band and the Philadelphia City Troop start the festivities, and Skibbereen provides the dance music.
* And if you are familiar with dances such as the Gay Gordons, the Walls of Limerick, the High Cauled Cap and the Three Tunes, try visiting the Timoney Ceili in the Northeast. Accordionists Kevin and Pancho pound out the tunes; light refreshments will be provided (anything more potent than tea you'll have to bring yourself).
* Friendly Sons of St. Patrick dinner dance at the Philadelphia Marriott, 111 Crawford Ave., West Conshohocken, at 6 p.m. Saturday. Tickets: $60 (includes an open bar from 6 to 7 and 9 to 10 p.m.); reservations are recommended. Phone: 610-446-6745.
* Timoney Ceili at the Maternity B.V.M., 9220 Bustleton Ave, from 8 p.m. to midnight Sunday. Tickets: $10. Phone: 215-885-2304.
CELTIC/APPALACHIAN CELEBRATION. The ninth annual concert will once again be staged by the Folklife Center of International House, this time on St. Paddy's Day itself. The celebration commemorates both American and Irish musicians, with afternoon and evening concerts.
The afternoon begins with the wonderful duo of past shows: tenor banjo and mandolin player Mick Moloney and fiddler Eugene O'Donnell. Moloney, born in County Limerick, has been performing in the States for more than 20 years. O'Donnell, born in County Derry, comes out of retirement once again to share his expressive and vibrant style.
They will be joined by some fresh faces from North America and three Irish dancing groups.
The evening concert will have all that, but Moloney and O'Donnell will be joined by Seamus Egan, for whom the term multi-instrumentalist doesn't quite do the trick. Egan, born in County Mayo (Up Mayo!), has won the all-Ireland championship award on four separate instruments: flute, whistle, mandolin and tenor banjo.
* The night before is set aside for the Irish harp, with a lecture - ``Clairseach Aris, Music & Mythology of the Gaelic Harp'' - followed by a concert by Clairseach: Ann Heymann on harp and Charlie Heymann on everything from the guitar to the button accordion.
At International House, 3701 Chestnut St.; 215-893-1145:
* Harp program and concert, at 7 p.m. Saturday. Tickets: $15, $13 for senior citizens and students.
* Celtic/Appalachian Celebration, at 2:30 and 7 p.m. Sunday (Seamus Egan will perform only at the second show). Tickets: $15, $13 for senior citizens and students.
IRISH PUBS. We can't put together an Irish celebration list without pubs. Pub-life, after all is a rich part of the Irish culture.
One recent addition to the Philadelphia pub scene is the Irish Bards on Walnut Street. Of the pubs we visited, this ranks among the highest for authenticity - and the bartenders know the proper technique to pull a pint of Guinness. If you dare to brave the crowds on St. Patrick's Day, you'll hear the music of the Tinkers from 8 till midnight.
Of course, the Irish Bards isn't the only pub in town.
Claddagh Folk and Timlin & Kane will be at F.G. Brittingham's on Saturday and Sunday. Downey's has a jam-packed schedule featuring the Emerald Ceili Band tonight, plus step dancers, pipers and other bands later in the weekend. The Sumney Tavern in Lansdale is vying for the most to see title with several bands including Malarky (tonight only) and harpist Joanna Mell all three days.
Schedules are in the Clubs listings in this section. Or for the ultimate pub crawl, you can board the Erin Express on Saturday from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. Five free buses follow the ``Green Route,'' departing from Cavanaugh's (39th and Sansom) and stopping at 12 bars and restaurants, including Mace's Crossing, the Blarney Stone, O'Hara's Fish House and Irish Pub. Information: 215-386-4889.