On March 17th, the Chicago River will be greener than it normally is, Leprechauns will look dashing in their pressed suits, more freckled red-heads will pepper the streets than ever before, shamrocks will be facepainted on many o’cheek, men in kilts will be jamming out on their bagpipes and Irish dancers will be tapping circles around everyone, because alas it is St. Patrick’s Day and it is time to paint the town green. Here is a list of festivals, parades, crafts, and performances that you and your family can check out throughout the month.
"St. Scarlett." In this offbeat St. Patrick’s Day comedy, an Irish-American family in Minnesota contends with family tensions and romance. American Theater Company. Call or check Web site for showtimes. Ends March 26. Families. $20-$30. 1909 W. Byron St., Chicago. (773) 929-1031, www.atcweb.org.
7th Annual Irish Film Festival of Chicago. More than a dozen of Ireland’s best films. Beverly Arts Center. Call or check Web site for schedule, film descriptions, ratings and age-appropriateness. March 3-8. $10 per screening. 2407 W. 111th St., Chicago. (773) 445-3838, www.beverlyartcenter.org or www.irishfilmfestival.com.
Naperville’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. This year, the parade route will begin at Naperville North High School (899 N. Mill St., Naperville), head south on Mill Street, make its way through downtown Naperville and end at Centennial Beach. 10 a.m. March 11. Families. Free. www.wsirish.org/parade.htm.
"Tony Kenny’s Ireland." Tony Kenny performs Irish music, dance, comedy and song. Dancers from New Lenox’s Sullivan School of Irish Dance make a guest appearance. Center for Performing Arts—Governors State University. 8 p.m. March 11. Ages 8 and up with adult. $31-$40. 1 University Parkway., University Park. (708) 235-2222, www.centertickets.net.
51st Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. More than 200 floats and marching bands. Noon. March 11. Families. Free. Columbus Drive between Balbo Drive and Monroe Street, Chicago. (312) 942-9188, www.chicagostpatsparade.com.
Drop-In Craft. Celebrate St. Patrick’s day with a craft. Des Plaines Public Library. 1-4 p.m. March 11. Families. Free. 1501 Ellinwood St., Des Plaines. (847) 376-2839, www.dppl.org.
St. Patrick’s Day Celebration. This annual event features Irish music, dance, food and kids’ activities. The Irish American Heritage Center. 1 p.m.-midnight. March 11. Call or check Web site for schedule. Families. $15, $12 in advance. Free kids 12 and under with paying adult. Registration suggested. 4626 N. Knox Ave., Chicago. (773) 282-7035, www.irishamhc.com.
South Side Irish Saint Patrick’s Day Parade Family Festival. Live Irish music, kid-friendly movies, food and a view of the parade on Western Avenue. Beverly Arts Center. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. March 12. Families. $5 per person, $15 family maximum. 2407 W. 111th St., Chicago. (773) 445-3838, www.beverlyartcenter.org.
Southside Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Bagpipes, marching bands, floats and dignitaries. Noon. March 12. Families. Free. Western Avenue from 103rd Street to 115th Street, Chicago. (773) 393-8687, southsideirishparade.org.
St. Patrick’s Day Storytimes. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with stories. Helen M. Plum Memorial Library. 7-7:30 p.m. March 13. 10-10:30 a.m. March 14. Families. Free. 110 W. Maple St., Lombard. (630) 627-0316, www.plum.lib.il.us.
"St. Patrick’s Day Concert." Paddy Homan of Cork, Ireland performs. Beverly Arts Center. 8 p.m. March 17. Families. $15. 2407 W. 111th St., Chicago. (773) 445-3838, www.beverlyartcenter.org.
St. Patrick’s Day Celebration. Begin the day with an 11 a.m. Mass, then head to the pub at noon for Irish dancing, music and food. Fifth Province Lounge—The Irish American Heritage Center. 11 a.m.-midnight. March 17. Families. $12, free kids 12 and under. 4626 N. Knox Ave., Chicago. (773) 282-7035, www.irishamhc.com.
Elmhurst 10th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Celebrate the Irish tradition with leprechauns, clowns, and jugglers, bagpipe players and marching bands. Noon. March 18. Families. Wilson Street and Spring Road, Elmhurst. www.elmhurststpatsparade.com.
Music from Ireland. Banna, an Irish singing duo, celebrates St. Paddy’s Day with a performance. Honor Ireland by wearing green. Vernon Area Public Library. 2-3 p.m. March 19. Families. Free. Registration required. 300 Olde Half Day Rd., Lincolnshire. (847) 634-3650, www.vapld.info.
Beverly Mendoza is the amazing calendar editor of Chicago Parent magazine.