Celebrations for St. Patrick's Day begin in Madison more than a week before the holiday honoring the patron saint of Ireland.

Festivities begin with "St. Paddy's at St. Mike's" on Friday. Other events take place throughout the next week and weekend prior to St. Patrick's Day on March 17.

The "St. Paddy's at St. Mike's" event - sponsored by the Ohio Valley Celtic Society and Historic Madison Inc. - will feature tours of the St. Michaels the Archangel building, music and food. People attending the event at St. Michaels, 521 E. Third St., can tour the upstairs area of the building, which is currently undergoing renovations.

"The Ragged Arse Tinkers" band and a special guest will be in concert during the event. Other programs for adults and children will be part of the event as well.

A menu including corned beef, cabbage, colcannon, roast vegetables, soda bread and apple cake will be served from 4 to 8 p.m. with carryout available. Hard cider, beer and soft drinks will be sold separately.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $7 for children ages 6 to 16. They can be purchased at the Madison Visitors Center, 601 W. First St.; Thomas Family Winery, 208 E. Second St.; and Historic Madison Inc., 500 West St.

On Tuesday, a screening of "Waking Ned Devine" will be held at the Ohio Theatre at 7 p.m. The movie, set in a tiny Irish village, tells the story of a man who died of shock after winning millions in the National Lottery and the schemes village residents came up with to keep the money.

Tickets for the movie - sponsored by the Ohio Valley Celtic Society - cost $5 per adult. Proceeds from the event help to support the annual Madison Ulster Project.

A Celtic Symposium will take place at the Jefferson County Public Library - Madison branch Wednesday. The event is free and open to the public.

The educational evening of topics will begin at 6:30 p.m. The symposium will cover Celtic life and history, food and drink, and the Celtic influence on local architecture and culture.

Light refreshments will be served before the event at 6 p.m.

The annual Downtown St. Patrick's Party will begin at 5 p.m. on March 14. Irish Road Bowling makes a return as participants challenge one another as they roll cannonballs down Hentz Alley near The Madison Courier from West Street to Jefferson Street.

For those in the mood to dress like a leprechaun, a Leprechaun Contest will be held at the Thomas Family Winery, 208 E. Second St. Judges will chose a prize winner at the event's end.

During the St. Patrick's Party, area businesses will host traditional Irish fare with a dish or beverage at eight locations with "A Taste of Ireland."

The event costs $40 per person.

"A Taste of Ireland" will include food or drink and frivolity at each of the eight locations, which will be stops on a Madison Trolley ride throughout the downtown area. Irish dancers and a piper plan be part of the celebrations as well.

Celebrations end a day before St. Patrick's Day arrives with a Ladies' Irish Tea at the Shrewsbury-Windle House, 301 W. First St. The event will feature a variety of Irish teas and classic tea snacks on March 16.

The tea, which will be held from 2 to 5 p.m., is free with donations accepted.

For more information on the St. Patrick's Day celebrations or to purchase tickets for the St. Paddy's Party or A Taste of Ireland, contact the visitors center at (812) 265-2956 or (800) 559-2956.