Saint Patrick's Day traditionally is celebrated by drinking green beer, wearing green, pinching people who aren't wearing green, and claiming some kind of Irish heritage for the benefit of kisses and hugs. But from 6 to 9 p.m. on March 17 this year, Art Food & Roots at Café de Thai in Reno brings a refreshing change of pace from clovers and leprechauns. The event offers a chance for community members to celebrate and support urban gardening and education for local youths.

The event is hosted by Urban Roots Garden Classrooms, a local garden education program focused on cultivating a more connected relationship between kids and the food they eat. The education starts in the garden, where kids get hands-on experience learning how to grow their own food. Urban Roots also works with local schools to incorporate garden education into the classroom curriculum. From their experience on the farm and in the classroom, students are empowered to make healthy choices, work together, grow their own food, and eat seasonally.

Sponsored by edible Reno-Tahoe magazine and Café de Thai, the Art Food & Roots event features gourmet Thai food, cocktails, beer and wine, an auction, and bagpipes.

"This event, more than any other, helps us provide the services we give to the community," says Josie Luciano, executive director of Urban Roots. "It's a great opportunity to meet people in the garden education community."

Tickets are $39 and are limited to 150 people this year. They are available on a first-come first-served basis at the Urban Roots website ( Money raised at the event funds the Urban Roots farm and garden education program on Fourth Street in Reno.

Show off your true green colors this Saint Patrick's Day by giving back to the garden education community.

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