Writers Theatre in Glencoe is celebrating March with “Once” a wonderfully performed musical about hope and love wrapped in Irish tunes.
Grocery stores such as Sunset Foods in the northern and northwest suburbs are celebrating with pots of four-leaf clovers.
Many bakeries throughout the Chicago area are celebrating March with cakes, cookies and cupcakes topped with green frosting.
And luck is wished to everyone because the Chicago area loves to celebrate all things Irish during St. Patrick’s month of March.
So, get out the calendar to pencil in top events. But first know that you will be welcomed with the word Fáilte, toasted with the word sláinte pronounced slahn-che (to good health) and will hear the lovely phrase, Céad Míle Fáilte: A hundred thousand welcomes.
Thanks to the Plumbers’ Union, the Chicago River turns green the morning of March 11 at 10 a.m. followed by the Plumbers’ Union sponsored parade at 12:30 p.m. Go early to see the river dying between State Street and Columbus Drive on Wacker or along the Riverwalk. Hang out downtown until the parade steps off from Balboa at Grant Park and heads north along Columbus Drive to Monroe. Among the largest in the country, it’s three hours of bagpipers, floats and Irish Step Dancers. (And politicians)
Two good parades are also held March 12 in Chicago neighborhoods:
Southside Irish and Northwest Side Irish.
The Southside Irish Parade is noon to 3 p.m. along Western Avenue starting at 103rd Street going south to
to 115th. It’s a family friendly parade that started in 1981 with a couple of families and has grown to where it attracts people from all over the city. It does not tolerate drinking but neighborhood pubs are open after the parade.
The Northwest Side Irish Parade, celebrating its 20th anniversary, is the same day, same time. Find official parade and after party info at Northside Irish. The parade goes along Neola Avenue to Northwest Highway to Harlem Avenue as it winds through the Norwood Park neighborhood.
Pubs throughout the Chicago area are ready to party. Most will have specials on Irish beer. Some pubs will feature entertainment by talented Irish Step Dancers and soulful musicians.
Among the most popular pubs celebrating St. Patrick’s Day is Chief O’Neills, 3471 N. Elston, Chicago. It will be open from 8 a.m March 11 through 2 a.m. Msrch 12 with a cover charge of $10 from noon on. But more festiviies will be on March 12 with no cover charge. O’Neills will feature traditional Irish dishes and entertainment on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17 with a cover charge at 4 p.m. See more about O’Neills festivities. at St Patrick’s Festival 2023.
In Beverly, the Southside Irish Parade neighborhood, the Cork and Kerry at 10614 S, Western Ave., is popular.
In the northern suburbs, Hackney’s on Lake, a longtime favorite restaurant and bar in Glenview with Irish roots, celebrates with good Irish beer and an extensive menu. The original Hackneyh’s on Harmes (more than 80 years old) is also still around as an intimate dining spot known by word of mouth.
Where to go after the Downtown Parade March 11. (Both require tickets)
Wear green and celebrate the Irish way at the Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N Knox Ave. Chicago. Its St. Patrick’s Day Festival is perfect for all ages with Irish food, music, dance, children’s activities and Irish gifts on sale from 1 to 11 p.m. Also, its Fifth Province Pub is a traditional Irish pub.
Shamrock’n the Block at Old St. Patrick’s Church on DesPlaines Street between Monroe & Adams (700 W. Adams) in Chicago’s West Loop, does an annual Irish pub pop-up with a heated beer garden tent, food and entertainment plus shamrock craft packs for kids. from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Go celebrate and remember the popular Irish toast: “May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back.”