St. Patrick’s Day is Sunday, so the annual Annapolis parade is almost guaranteed to be the most popular event through March 21. But you could still see an Italian opera, catch a performance of a play or take to the water as a decadeslong journey resumes.

Liquid love

7:30 p.m. Friday

Gaetano Donizetti’s “The Elixir of Love” comes to the Maryland Hall main stage in a production by the Annapolis Opera Company.

The 18th-century Spanish love story tells of Nemorino and Adina, portrayed by tenor Brian Wallin and soprano Véronique Filloux. Adina is a fickle landowner who has eyes for one man, the poor farmer Nemorino. He buys a fake love potion to make it work out.

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The opera is performed in Italian with English subtitles and repeats at a Sunday matinee. Standard tickets start at $34, plus fees, with cheaper pricing for students.

Return of the Queen

11 a.m Saturday

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The Harbor Queen, the faux paddlewheel steamboat offering real cruises along the Annapolis for about five decades, opens its season this weekend.

The popular, hourlong tour features a recorded narration pointing out sites along the shore and boards at the end of City Dock through September. Tickets booked online are $25 for adults and $10 for children.

Irish music

Noon, Saturday

Shamrock The Dock — two days of Irish music and dance — bracket the Annapolis St. Patrick’s Parade. The festival takes place under two tents at City Dock, with the main stage featuring Seven Nations, Dublin 5, The Doug Segree Band, Skerryvore and others. The second tent will host Irish dancing, pipe bands and other acts. Day 2 opens after the parade reaches City Dock.

It’s $30 for single-day tickets, $60 for both days. Cheaper pricing is available for active military, firefighters and police. VIP passes are sold out. The St. Patrick’s Hooley, the Friday night opening party for the parade and festival weekend, is also sold out.

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St. Patrick’s Parade

1-3:30 p.m. Sunday

It’s hard to say which is the best parade in Annapolis, because there are some great ones. But the St. Patrick’s Parade — which this year actually falls on St. Patrick’s Day — is a contender.

The march steps off from Westgate Circle, then follows West Street to Church Circle and then Main Street to City Dock. It is filled with Irish pipe bands, marching units, firetrucks, floats and equestrians. It’s an election year, so expect to see a significant number of elected officials and candidates for office waving to the crowds.

Be prepared to take home green beads and other doodads tossed to the crowd. Plenty of restaurants and bars will be open along the route. Free.


2 p.m. Sunday

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Compass Rose Theatre’s spring production, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” will be staged in its third-floor theater at Maryland Hall. The comedy features six tweens vying for the spelling championship, disclosing stories from their home lives along the way.

The 2005 musical is directed and choreographed by Tommy Malek, with musical direction by Rachel Sandler. Weekend performances continue through April 28, with Friday and Saturday night shows at 8 p.m. and matinees at 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Adult tickets are $55, plus fees, with cheaper prices for students, seniors, veterans and children under 10.

On your toes, kids

2-3 p.m. Sunday

If the parade is not your thing, head to Discoveries, the Anne Arundel County Public Library branch at Westfield Annapolis mall, for some en pointe fun with your kids at ballet story time.

Chesapeake Ballet Company dancers will share a story about dance and perform practice pieces from their April show, “Coppelia.” Children up to age 10 will get a chance to dance a little bit with the youth company’s ballerinas. Free.

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“Picture lots of little ones in tutus with older dancers performing variations from Coppelia,” library spokesperson Christine Feldman wrote in an email.

An Elton direction

7 pm. Monday

Annapolis performers will fill Rams Head On Stage for “In the Vane of Elton John” to benefit the nonprofit AMFM, or Annapolis Musicians Fund for Musicians, Inc., which provides financial aid to professional musicians unable to work because of illness, injury or other circumstances.

The show is the latest in AMFM’s “In the Vane of...” series. Each act performs one Elton John song and one original song in the style of, about, or in tribute to the British musical legend.

The event will feature performances by Scott Voorhees, Radio City, Jeanette Lynn, Ray Weaver, b.en & the b.and, Dirk Schwenk, Meg Murray, Guava Jelly, Shep Tullier, Pete Best, Jimi Haha, Jessie Marie, FessUp and Tobias Russell. Tickets are $30, plus fees.