Seattle gears up for annual St. Patrick's Day Dash, green beer

Runners take off at the start of Seattle's 2012 St. Patrick's Day Dash.

SEATTLE -- A projected 17,000 people are expected to take part Sunday in Seattle’s 29th annual St. Patrick’s Day Dash that covers nearly four miles of city streets.

The St. Patrick's Day Parade was being held a day earlier, on Saturday at 12:30 p.m.  It was to start from 4th Avenue at Jefferson in downtown Seattle.

The St. Patrick’s Day Dash on Sunday benefits the Detlef Schrempf Foundation in support of Northwest children’s charities.

Donations are directed to four Northwest children’s organizations: Camp Fire USA Puget Sound Council, Seattle Children’s Autism Center, Rise n’ Shine, and the Healing Center.

The morning events start at 8 a.m. with a “Leprechaun Lap” for kids age 10 and under. The regular dash begins at 3rd and Mercer in waves at 8:30 a.m., 8:40 a.m., 8:50 a.m. and 9 a.m.

The course has changed over the years from a dash down the Alaskan Way Viaduct between Jake O'Shaughnessy's and FX McRory’s to an out-and-back route under the shadow of the Space Needle at Seattle Center. Runners and walkers will have plenty of opportunity to see the field and high-five friends along Highway 99 on the way to and from the Aurora Bridge.

Awards will be given for best costumes.  For more information, go to the Dash website by clicking here.

Here is a schedule:

8:00am - Leprechaun Lap
A nearly one-kilometer Dash for kids 10 and under
8:30, 8:40, 8:50, 9:00am - Dash Wave Starts (3rd & Mercer)
9:00am – 1:00pm - Post Dash Bash Fisher Pavilion and Fisher Green at Seattle Center
Visit our sponsors, enjoy great food and beverages, learn more about our partner charities.
9:30am - Leprechaun Lap Awards
Decorated stroller parade to the F5 Main Stage
10:15am - Costume Contest & Awards Ceremony
Best Wearin’ o’ the Green, Most Outrageous Costume, Largest team, Fastest Finishers