Kick up your heels at Long Grove Irish Days
Long Grove will once again pay tribute to the Emerald Isle over Labor Day weekend.
The Historic Downtown Long Grove Business Association presents Irish Days, a family-friendly celebration of Irish culture, music, food and drink. The town will be filled with bagpipers, folk bands, dancers and Irish merchandise during this outdoor festival, which runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 1-3.
It is centered around the town's central Fountain Square at Robert Parker Coffin and Old McHenry roads. Admission is free.
All weekend long, Irish Days will feature ongoing activities and entertainment without any admission charge. Some of Chicago's top Irish musicians, singers and dancers are taking the stage in Fountain Square, including Rory Makem, the Shannon Rovers Bagpipe Band, the McNulty Irish Dancers, Gavin Coyle, the Chancey Brothers, Joe Cullen & Kathleen Keane, and others. See the full lineup at longgrove.org/festivals/irish-days.
Another favorite sight at Irish Days is the Irish Dog Competition. All dogs are Irish on Irish Days, but those who dress the part are given extra credit. Each day, a panel of children judges will crown an Irish Doggie king, queen, prince and princess.
The contest is open to any dog whose owner enters them the day-of at the competition area by the Long Grove Information Center, 308 Old McHenry Road.
Local Irish pubs and restaurants will return to fuel visitors with hand-carved corned beef sandwiches, fish and chips, and other traditional foods. Additionally, there will be a beer tent selling freshly-tapped craft brews, including Irish-themed suds from Long Grove's own Buffalo Creek Brewing.
While a "Wee Ones" area will host Irish-themed crafts, face-painting, and games for kids, perhaps the most excitement and biggest laughs of the weekend will come each day at the Best-Looking Men's Legs in a Kilt contest.
Interested male contestants should wear their best kilts (or complimentary kilts will be provided on-site) and register at the event, which is at 1:15 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and 11:45 a.m. Monday.
Finally, Irish Days features a Gaelic Tent that promotes awareness of the Irish language and genealogy. Representatives from the Irish American Heritage Center will be on hand to discuss Irish cultural opportunities on the Northwest Side of Chicago.