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St. Patrick's Day in Las Vegas brings green hunks and parades

St. Patrick's Day in Las Vegas brings green hunks and parades
Brian Thomas, the O'Sheas Casino ambassador who dresses as a leprechaun each year for St. Patrick's Day, will this year again be carried on a throne along the parade route through the Linq promenade in Las Vegas. (Erik Kabik)

They say everybody is Irish on St. Patrick's Day, so an Arab leprechaun should fit right in, especially along the Las Vegas Strip.

Brian Thomas, a little person who has been the goodwill ambassador for O'Sheas Casino for the last 10 years, will lead two parades Thursday through the Linq promenade.

Thomas, dressed in the green suit he has worn for countless thousands of photos, will be hoisted high on a green velvet throne carried by a group of muscled hunks, whose bodies will be painted green.

The first parade kicks off at noon at the Las Vegas Boulevard end of the pedestrian mall. The procession will head east through the retail and entertainment district toward the High Roller.

Bagpipers kick off the 2015 St. Patrick's Day parade through the Linq entertainment and retail district.
Bagpipers kick off the 2015 St. Patrick's Day parade through the Linq entertainment and retail district. (Erik Kabik)

Bagpipers, stilt walkers and other faux leprechauns will join in the fun. The parade will repeat at 6 p.m. followed by a troupe of Irish dancers.

Throughout the promenade, various merchants will be offering St. Paddy's Day specials.

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Sprinkles will be serving specially-flavored cupcakes, including Green Velvet and a chocolate treat infused with Bailey's Irish Cream. Vendors will be selling Guinness stout and Jameson Irish whiskey from stalls along the way.

At O'Sheas, partiers will toast not only Ireland's patron saint, but Thomas' 10th anniversary as ambassador as well.

In February, 2006, he left a Cirque du Soleil show to join O'Sheas as its colorful barker. Executives of Harrah's Entertainment, now Caesars Entertainment, recruited him for St. Patrick's Day.

And no, he's not Irish either.

"Far from it," he said with a chuckle. "I'm an Arab. My grandparents are from Lebanon and Egypt. [But] I play [the leprechaun] well."

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