St. Patrick’s Day has gradually transitioned from a religious feast day to a secular holiday that provides a reason for everyone, regardless of religion or national origin, to sup, imbibe, and generally make merry in mid-March.

But here’s an interesting cultural factoid: Because Easter happens so early this year, on March 23, the official St. Patrick’s Catholic Feast Day – Monday, March 17 – falls during Holy Week. And so church leaders have decided, on a calendar technicality, to cancel the 2008 St. Paddy’s observance for the first time since 1940. They don’t want folks experiencing, um, gratuitous merriment in the seven days leading up to Easter. So the challenge is on: Assuming that the Catholic leaders’ pronouncement is important to you, there’s now an urgent need to party your ass off during this weekend’s St. Patrick’s celebration. The man who helped spread enlightenment throughout Ireland and practically coined the phrase “Ya gotta sin to get saved” must be remembered.

Fort Worth celebrates its 15th annual St. Patrick’s Day on Saturday, avoiding the religious dilemma, with another edition of Cowtown Goes Green. As always, it’s a family-friendly event that features a day of live music, games, face-painting, pony rides, stick horse races, roping demonstrations, and contests. The event culminates in a cattle drive at 4pm down Exchange Avenue. Please, maintain your balance for the kiddos. But remember, you are in the Stockyards. Refreshments for responsible adult cowhands will be available for those who seek them. But if you’re not careful, you’ll be praying for mercy come Sunday morning. Noon-5pm Sat at the Fort Worth Stockyards, FW. Admission is free. Call 817-625-9715.