Green scene: Suburban, city St. Patrick's Day parades and more

The Fox and DuPage rivers won't be dyed green, but there will be a wide range of St. Patrick's Day celebrations across the suburbs this weekend.

While St. Patrick's Day is officially more than a week away, several suburbs will host parades Saturday, March 11, as well as 5K races and charity events. Others will offer bagpipe music, Irish dancing or excuses to dress in goofy green costumes. And for those willing to drive into Chicago, the Chicago River will be dyed green before the city's big parade.

Among the events:


Naperville will host a charity 5K run, followed by a parade. The St. Paddy's Day 5K starts at 8 a.m. Saturday, March 11, at Jackson Avenue and West Street, raising money for the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill DuPage. It will be followed by the 24th annual St. Patrick's Day Parade, which begins at 10 a.m. at Naperville North High School on Mill Street. The parade will head south on Mill, east on Jefferson and south on Main to Water Street. The parade features 100 floats with music, dancers, politicians, beauty queens, community groups, businesses, Shriners and more.

To register for the race, go to For more on the parade, visit

East and West Dundee

A parade, a Kilted 5K, a Big Wheel race, a pet parade and an Irish Rebel Door Contest are among the festivities in East and West Dundee. The main event is the Thom McNamee Memorial St. Patrick's Day Parade in East Dundee, dubbed “the largest small-town parade.” It steps off at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 11, heading south from Wenholz Avenue and Water Street, and then east on Barrington Avenue, south on River Street, and ending at Jackson Street.

At 8:30 a.m., the Kilted 5K race begins at 296 Williams Place in East Dundee. At 9:15 a.m., the pet parade starts at Dundee Township's Visitors' Center on North River Street in East Dundee. People can cast ballots in an Irish Rebel Door Contest on homes and businesses.

At 1 p.m., Big Wheel races will begin at Washington and Fourth streets in West Dundee.


Chicago's annual river dying begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 11, at Columbus and Wacker drives, followed by the three-hour-long St. Patrick's Day parade at noon — one of the largest of its kind in the country. With the theme “Irish Immigration: A New World of Opportunity,” the parade travels through Grant Park, beginning at Balbo Drive and ending at Monroe Drive.

The South Side Irish Parade and the Northwest Side Irish Parade are both at noon Sunday, March 12. The South Side parade travels along Western Avenue, between 103rd and 115th streets. The Northwest Side parade goes from Onahan School, 6634 W. Raven, up Neola Avenue to Northwest Highway, and then north to Harlem Avenue.

The Chicago's Irish American Heritage Center, at 4626 N. Knox Ave., also has a full weekend of activities planned. See for details.


The Paint the Town Green Parade begins at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 11, at the corner of Wood and Oak streets, and continues west on Wood to Smith and north to Colfax. The 50 parade entries include Grand Marshal's Lucky McClover and Katie M'Lady, bagpipe music, the Trinity Irish Dancers, the Lucky Little Leprechauns of Dorset Avenue and last year's winning entry, the Palatine Beer Club & Families.

During the parade, donations will be collected for Journeys the Road Home, an organization serving the homeless and near-homeless in the North and Northwest suburbs. Items needed include diapers, gas gift cards, toiletries, nonperishable food, paper goods and more.

At 1 p.m., Mayor Jim Schwantz will officiate at a firkin-tapping ceremony at Emmett's, 110 N. Brockway St.

Irish food and entertainment will be offered at a number of Palatine bars and restaurants throughout the day. or

Lake Villa

Lake Villa's St. Patrick's Day parade kicks off at noon Saturday, March 11, starting at Palombi Middle School and ending on Railroad Avenue near the Lake Villa VFW, 130 E. Grand Ave. Donations for the Lake Villa Township food pantry will be accepted along the parade route and at the VFW. A corned beef and cabbage lunch follows the parade at the VFW hall. $8 for adults and $6 for kids younger than 12 and seniors; a $4 hot dog plate is also available for kids. Proceeds go toward the cost of the parade.

St. Charles

The St. Charles St. Patrick's Day parade begins at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 11, at Main and 6th streets. The parade, which heads down Main and ends at 4th Avenue, will feature Irish dancers, Celtic pipe bands, cheerful leprechauns and floats. The parade will be led by Ron Onesti, who is Italian but is considered the savior of the city's iconic Arcada Theatre, which celebrated its 90th year this past fall. The annual dog costume contest will not be taking place this year.

Two separate Irish music concerts will be held Sunday, March 12 — at 2 p.m. at the St. Charles Public Library and at 3 p.m. at the Norris Cultural Arts Center.


It'll be the police versus the firemen at the annual St. Margaret Mary Shamrock Shave Saturday, March 11. More than 60 people, including members of the Algonquin Police Department and the Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Department, will shave their heads to raise money for the St. Vincent DePaul Society, which helps local families in need, and the Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation. The event starts at 5:30 p.m. with a traditional Irish corned beef and cabbage dinner in St. Margaret Mary's School gymnasium and cafeteria, 111 S. Hubbard St. The head-shaving begins at 6:45 p.m. while Irish dancers perform and a costume contest is held. There are prizes, raffles, kids' activities and more. Admission is $2 for adults and $1 for children, or free with a meal purchase.

South Elgin

At 9 a.m. Sunday, March 12, the second annual St. Patrick's Day 5K run/walk will be held to benefit Anderson Animal Shelter in South Elgin. Starting at SEBA Park, the route will follow the Fox River Trail. Walkers and dogs are welcome. Register in advance at

The Midlothian Pipe Band plays during a previous St. Patrick's Day Parade in Palatine. Daily Herald File photo/Joe Lewnard
Tim Johnston, left, represents St. Patrick for the West Suburban Irish while talking with other parade participants during a previous St. Patrick's Day parade in Naperville. Daily Herald File photo/Daniel White
The annual St. Charles St. Patrick's Day parade heads east on Main Street, through the downtown area. Daily Herald File Photo
Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.