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Seeing red over seeing green

— It may have been last century, but it wasn’t that many years ago when the Christmas season started on Thanksgiving. Then Santa Claus began appearing immediately after Halloween. And before long the malls all decked their halls the day after Labor Day…

Now the same thing is happening to other — how shall we say it? — less-portentous holidays such as St. Patrick’s Day.

This year the actual saint’s day falls on a perfectly good weekend day, Sunday, March 17. But the Syracuse St, Patrick’s Day Parade will roll down South Salina Street eight days before that, on Saturday, March 9.

As a result, festivities which should’ve been relegated to the third weekend in March will stretch out over two consecutive weekends. Must be the luck o’ the Irish!

Anyhow, right here in the village they’re celebrating Patrick’s success against snakes on Saturday, March 9, at The Retreat. Not only will Liverpool’s best restaurant serve up specialties such as Irish stew and corned-beef-and-cabbage, the busy bistro has also booked a live band, Prime Time, set to play at 10 p.m.; Retreatrestaurant.com; 457-6358.

Prime Time live!

Vocalist and drummer Paul Valentino founded Prime Time 17 years ago. The rollickin’ rock octet – performing from 10 p.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, March 9, at The Retreat – currently features keyboardist Bob Caraher, guitarist Tom Hillenbrand, saxophonist Brian Bird, trumpeter Tom Machuga, drummer Lenny Milano, bassist Ric Brush. And if we’re lucky, part-time Prime Time singer Jennifer Covert will grace us with her gorgeous voice.

Whether it’s Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, Rascal Flatts or Maroon 5, Valentino and the band put plenty of energy and passion into their performances.

Even though Prime Time will celebrate St. Patty’s Day eight days early, the band’s mid-March appearance at The Retreat may bode well for future entertainments. The restaurant already hosts lots of live music during the summer months on its outdoor patio. It would be so great if the place switched off the digital jukebox one night a week year-round in favor of flesh-and-blood musicians kickin’ out the jams!

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