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The Pipes, The Pipes: Boise Highlanders Set For Another St. Pat's

"II never gets old. I love it more than ever."

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Wear something green: check. Buy a "Kiss Me, I'm Irish" pin: check. Put "celebrate St. Patrick's Day with The Boise Highlanders" on the calendar: check.

Now in their 57th year of pipin' and dancin', the Highlanders' St. Patrick's Day performance schedule is so full they'll begin celebrating a day early. Starting Friday, March 16, the Highlanders will hit around 35 pubs and restaurants across Boise (some of them more than once). The pipe, drum and dance group is in such, well, high demand, that they will split up into smaller bands to meet it. At any given time on St. Paddy's Day, Highlanders may be performing in three different locations.

When he's not helping patients at the Boise Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Dr. Grant Harbison serves as "Pipe Major" of the Highlanders. Harbison, 45, has been piping since he was 16.

"My son started when he was 12. We have all ages in the band," said Harbison. "I would say about a third of our pipers are women. We have more than two dozen pipers. That's pretty big for a pipe band."

The Highlanders' calendar includes performance dates well before and well after March 17, including the Treasure Valley Highland Games in September, but the highlight has to be the non-stop madness that is St. Patrick's Day.

"It never gets old. I love it more than ever," said Harbison.

On March 16, the Highlanders will perform at The Crescent, Beef O'Brady's, Harry's Hideaway, Hyde Park Pub, Tap and Cask and Gil's K-9. On March 17, they will begin the day with concurrent performances at The Crescent and Tavern at Bown Crossing, and wrap up sometime around midnight. As of press time, the Highlanders were still adding locations to their schedule, which can be found at boisehighlanders.com

—George Prentice

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