It's easy being green come St. Patrick's Day in the suburbs. From music-filled parades to adults-only bar bashes, we've got a long list of events to please the lovers of all things Irish.
Pick a parade
Many towns are celebrating St. Patrick's Day this weekend with parades featuring Irish music, dancing, costumed performers and plenty o' green.
• Naperville: 10 a.m. Saturday, March 14. Join the West Suburban Irish for Naperville's annual St. Patrick's Day Parade. It kicks off at Naperville North High School, 899 N. Mill St., and continues south on Mill Street, east on Jefferson Avenue, south on Main Street and then west on Water Street to the Municipal Center. Residents are encouraged to donate a nonperishable food item to benefit the Loaves and Fishes Community Food Pantry. (630) 375-7725 or wsirish.org.
• Dundee Township/East and West Dundee: 11 a.m. Saturday, March 14. The Thom McNamee Memorial St. Patrick's Day Parade begins at Wenholz Avenue and Water Street and travels east on Barrington, then south on River Street. Parade ends at Bandito Barney's Beach Club on River Street. The Grandstand will be at the corner of Barrington and River streets.
Fireworks are at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 13, from the footbridge at North and Water streets in East Dundee. For information, visit dundeestpats.com.
• Palatine: 11 a.m. Saturday, March 14. Palatine's parade is part of the town's Paint the Town Green celebration. The parade features 50 entries, including the Midlothian Scottish Bag Pipe Band, the Trinity Irish Dancers and the Lucky Little Leprechauns of Dorset Avenue. During the parade, marchers with shopping carts will collect food, clothing and disposable paper products for the Journeys the Road Home -- an organization serving the homeless in the suburbs.
Parade begins at the corner of Wood and Oak streets in downtown Palatine and continues west on Wood Street to Smith Street and north to Colfax. Visit stpatspalatine.com.
• Lake Villa: Noon Saturday, March 14. Parade lineup is at 10:30 a.m. at Palombi School, 156 McKinley Ave. Parade heads north on McKinley Avenue to Burnett Avenue, west on Burnett, north on Sherwood Avenue to Grand Avenue, west for about a block and then east on Cedar Avenue. Nonperishable food donations for the Lake Villa Township Food Pantry will be collected from spectators during the parade. An $8 corned-beef-and-cabbage meal will be served at the VFW hall at 130 E. Grand Ave. following the parade. Visit lake-villa.org.
• Chicago: Noon Saturday, March 14. Parade starts at Balbo and Columbus Drive, then proceeds north on Columbus. Viewing stand is located in front of Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park, at Columbus and Congress Parkway.
Note: The dyeing of the Chicago River takes place before the parade at 9:15 a.m. Visit chicagostpatsparade.com.
• St. Charles: 2 p.m. Saturday, March 14. The 16th annual St. Charles St. Patrick's Day parade begins at Main Street and Route 64. Parade features Irish dancers, Irish music, floats and more. The St. Charles Veterinary Clinic is hosting a Deck Out Your Lucky Dog contest, and decorated dogs are invited to walk in the parade. (630) 443-3969 or downtownstcharles.org.
Eat, drink and go green
St. Patrick's Day revelry gets under way a few days before the actual holiday at a number of venues around the suburbs. Here's a sampling of spots where you can get your fill of Celtic music, mingle with leprechauns, load up on corned beef and throw back a Guinness.
Emmett's, West Dundee
Put hollow plastic to the pavement at Emmett's annual St. Patrick's Day big wheel race. Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. at Grafelman Park followed by the race at 12:30 p.m. Acceptable race vehicles include big wheels, kids' toys that resemble big wheels or any other souped-up nonmotorized form of transportation. It's free to enter. Fuel up at the kegs and eggs breakfast buffet for $8 prior to the race. Enjoy Emmett's Irish Stout or Red ale for $5.75 each.
Emmett's Tavern and Brewing Company is at 128 W. Main St., West Dundee. (847) 428-4500 or emmettsalehouse.com.
Now through Wednesday, try Weber Grill's St. Patrick's Day-inspired menu featuring its beer can chicken in a Guinness au jus. Try the grill-roasted half chicken with Weber's beer can chicken seasoning, garlic mashed potatoes and Guinness sauce for $18. For lunch, have the house-smoked corned beef sandwich on marble rye with Swiss cheese and horseradish. It comes served with coleslaw and kettle chips for $12.50 for the regular and $14.50 for the large. Or for dinner, there's the house-smoked corned beef with braised cabbage, grilled carrots, roasted red potatoes, caramelized smoked onions, and creamy horseradish sauce for $18.
Weber Grill has locations in Schaumburg and Lombard. Webergrillrestaurant.com.
Sage Kitchen + Bar
Sage Kitchen + Bar offers up an Irish menu on Tuesday, March 17, featuring Irish Lamb Stew made with merlot-braised lamb and winter vegetables and potatoes and garnished with fresh herbs and garlic bread for $16. Drink specials include half-off Irish coffee and half-priced Jameson cocktails.
Sage Kitchen + Bar at The Promenade Bolingbrook is at 627 E. Boughton Road, Bolingbrook. (630) 914-5870 or sage-kitchen.com.
Lucky Strike celebrates St. Patrick's Day all month long with the Irish Burger. Paired with a Guinness, the Irish Burger is a third pound of ground beef seasoned with salt and pepper and topped with Bangers, shredded iceberg lettuce, Tillamook White cheddar, grilled onions and Guinness barbecue sauce on a brioche bun with a side of chips for $12.95. Available through March.
Lucky Strike at Yorktown Mall is at 100 Yorktown Center, Lombard. (630) 916-8681 or bowlluckystrike.com.
Wildfire pairs an Irish food menu with the craft beers of Algonquin-based Scorched Earth Brewing at two beer dinners: beginning at 6:30 p.m. Monday in Oak Brook and 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in Schaumburg. The menu includes beer-braised corned beef and cabbage paired with Scorched Earth Foraging Swine Smoked Ale, and chocolate stout cheesecake paired with Scorched Earth the Bitter Chocolatier Imperial Chocolate Stout. Mike Dallas, the company's co-founder, will speak at the event. $50 per person plus tax, not including gratuity.
Wildfire Oak Brook is at 232 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook, or Wildfire Schaumburg, 1250 E. Higgins Road, Schaumburg. (630) 586-9000 or wildfirerestaurant.com.
Murphy's Pub in Orbit Skate Center does St. Patrick's Day with dollar drafts all day on Saturday. Mixologist Cordero Murphy will be mixing up Nutty Irishman's, Irish Sunsets, Irish Flags, Everybody's Irish and Irish Murphy drinks. Skate from 7 to 10 p.m. with the family. From 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., it's for ages 17 and older only. Take the skate clinic from 5 to 7 p.m. for $8 and skate from 7 to 10 p.m. for free.
Murphy's Pub at Orbit Skate Center is at 615 S. Consumers Ave., Palatine. (847) 394-9199 or orbitskate.net.
It's the 25th annual St. Patrick's Day dinner dance beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday. The evening includes the McNulty Irish Dancers and live music by DW-Gas plus a corned beef and cabbage dinner. $20 for food-only ticket; $25 for food plus three alcoholic drinks.
St. Matthew Parish Hurley Hall is at 1555 Glen Ellyn Road, Glendale Heights. (630) 461-0565.
Lunch with a leprechaun
Pets and children get your pics with The Buddy Foundation's own leprechaun at a lunch and bake sale beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday. Cost per photo is $7.50. Food items are available for purchase. Proceeds benefit the no-kill animal shelter.
The Buddy Foundation is at 65 W. Seegers Road, Arlington Heights. (847) 290-5806 or thebuddyfoundation.org.
Fill up on corned beef this St. Patrick's Day at Buona with the Reuben panini, made with Swiss cheese and creamy Thousand Island dressing for $6.25. Or let Buona cater your St. Patrick's Day party. Through March 31, order the corned beef, Irish potatoes, cabbage wedges, freshly baked rye bread, pickle spears and mustard. For a 20-person party pack, it runs $9.50 per person; for larger parties of 100 or more, it's $9 per person.
Buona has locations throughout the suburbs. Buona.com.
Famous Dave's celebrates St. Patty's day with half-priced drafts. On Tuesday, Blue Moon, Miller Lite, Bud Light, Sam Adams, Stella Artois and Angry Orchard drafts are all half-price.
Famous Dave's is at 704 Janes Ave., Bolingbrook. (630) 783-1502 or famousdaves.com.
Spears Bourbon Burgers Beer
On Saturday, listen to the blues with J.B. Ritchie & Friends featuring Ivy Ford beginning at 9 p.m. Or catch bluegrass band Miles Over Mountain starting at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Tuesday drink specials are $5 Beer in a Bag. The beer of the month is Founders All Day IPA for $5 or the bourbon of the month, Old Forester 86 Proof for $5.
Spears Bourbon Burgers Beer is at 723 N. Milwaukee Ave., Wheeling. (847) 353-8933 or spearschicago.com.
Rack House Kitchen and Tavern
Keep the St. Patrick's Day party going at Rack House Kitchen and Tavern, where St. Patrick's specials start Saturday and continue through the big day Tuesday. Specials include corned beef and cabbage for $13 as well as $5 Guinness drafts, $5 Jameson shots and $3 Green Beer drafts.
Rack House Kitchen and Tavern is at 222 E. Algonquin Road, Arlington Heights. (847) 640-7225 or rackhousetavern.com.
Old Town Pour House
Personalize your pint glass at Old Town Pour House's Guinness gravity glass engraving event from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 13. Have a personalized image etched into your favorite St. Patrick's Day pint glass. Or eat Irish fare Monday through Friday with the stout-braised bone-in short rib made with colcannon, crispy onion strings and short rib gravy; or the lavender short bread with traditional burned oranges, prices TBD.
Old Town Pour House is at 8 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook. (630) 601-1440 or oldtownpourhouse.com.
McGonigal's Celtic fest
Celebrate the Barrington Celtic Festival at McGonigal's Irish Pub and The Annex Friday through Tuesday. The fest includes Irish goods for sale, Irish dancers, bagpipers, giveaways, food and beverages. TRIADD plays from 9 p.m. to midnight Friday; The Gravediggers play from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday; Family day Sunday includes the McNulty Irish Dancers and the Flannery Irish School of Dance; Cirrus Falcon plays from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Monday; The Messengers play from 9 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Tuesday. Free admission.
McGonigal's Irish Pub and The Annex is at 105 S. Cook St., Barrington. (847) 277-7400 or McGonigalspub.com.
St. Patrick's Day isn't a day at Finn McCool's Irish Pub: it's a full-blown festival. Get the party started at 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Tuesday with three days of music, bag pipers and green beer under the heated tent. The musical line up includes 7th Heaven on Friday; Kashmir on Saturday and Libido Funk Circus on Tuesday. Drink specials are: $3.50 Miller Lite jumbo green drafts; $5 Jameson and Jager shots; $6 Irish Cow Bombs, made with Tippy Cow Shamrock Mint, Jameson and Guinness; $7 Jameson shake-up; and $6 corned beef sandwiches. $5 cover per person each night.
Finn McCool's Irish Pub is at 1941 E. Algonquin Road, Schaumburg. (847) 303-5100 or finnmccoolschicago.com.
Palatine paints it green with a big old party that culminates at Durty Nellie's St. Patrick's Saturday. Dig the live music beginning at 9 a.m. with breakfast, followed by dancers and bagpipers. Finish out the night with 'Stache and Modern Day Romeos. Free cover before 3 p.m., $5 until 8:30 p.m. and $7 the rest of the night. There's an Irish market in the tent outside Durty Nellie's from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The parade steps off at 11 a.m.
Durty Nellie's is at 180 N. Smith St., Palatine. (847) 358-9150 or durtynellies.com.
Once you've had your fill of corned beef and cold beer, here are a number of other St. Patrick's Day related events coming up over the next few days.
Just in time for St. Patrick's Day, the interactive comedy and music revue "Flanagan's Wake" returns to Fox Valley Repertory. The show, which ran for years in Chicago, centers on an unnamed resident of the fictional Grapplin, Ireland, whose friends and family gather to give him a proper send-off.
8 p.m. Saturday, March 14, at Pheasant Run Resort, 4051 E. Main St., St. Charles. $32. (630) 584-6342 or foxvalleyrep.org.
Hear about a historic Irish-American immigrant experience in song when the band Solas performs the show Shamrock City on Saturday at Elgin Community College's Blizzard Theatre, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin. $32. (847) 622-0300 or elgin.edu/arts. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 14
Shamrock the Block
Wauconda's third annual Shamrock the Block St. Patrick's Day charity festival features 16-, 20- and 26-mile bike rides through Wauconda, live concerts and Irish fare at local restaurants and a 50/50 raffle, with a grand prize of a trip for two to Ireland. Proceeds from a head-shaving charity event will benefit children's cancer research.
Events run Sunday through Tuesday, March 15-17, in downtown Wauconda. Hours vary. For a full daily schedule, visit shamrocktheblock.webs.com.
Irish American Heritage Center
Start off the official St. Patrick's Day holiday with an 11 a.m. mass in the auditorium of Chicago's Irish American Heritage Center. Mass is followed by an all-day celebration in the centers Fifth Province pub. Performers include The Tooles, the O'Hare School of Irish Dance, The Chancey Brothers and many others.
Events begin at 11 a.m. Tuesday, March 17, at the Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox Ave., Chicago. Admission is $10. (773) 282-7035 or irish-american.org.