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Mikko Cowdery, Annie O'Flynn and Bruce Kelly will bring the Irish music of Skilly and Duff to the stage of the Alexandria Area Arts Association Theatre in Alexandria on Friday, March 16 at 7 p.m. (Contributed photo)

Annual St. Paddy's Show scheduled at AAAA Theatre

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The Alexandria Area Arts Association (AAAA) will present the 7th annual St. Paddy's Show with the award-winning Skilly and Duff Irish Band on Friday, March 16 at 7 p.m., at the AAAA Theatre in Alexandria.

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Mikko Cowdery of Osakis staged the first area St. Paddy's Day show in 2005, and most of the annual shows have been performed as fundraisers for the AAAA Theatre.

Throughout the years, Cowdery has been joined by many talented musicians from across the region, and over time some of them formed an Irish pub-style band.

In 2009, Cowdery, along with Bruce Kelly and Annie O'Flynn of Elbow Lake and Sami Steidl of Carlos, took their Skilly and Duff Irish Quartet to the Irish Fair of Minnesota in St. Paul, where they captured first place in the Celtic music competition.

Since then, the Skilly and Duff band has performed across Minnesota and into neighboring states, and has toured southern Ireland as well as the Irish communities of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Cape Breton and Prince Edward Island, gathering authentic songs and stories for their shows.

They're planning a return trip to Ireland in September 2012.

This year, Skilly and Duff will perform St. Patrick's shows in Paynesville, New London, Alexandria, Fargo and Sauk Centre.

This year's show will include 13-year-old songstress Lily Satterlee of Sauk Centre, plus the fiddle magic of Sami Steidl.

Tickets are $15, and are available at the AAAA box office or by calling (320) 762-8300.

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