You don’t have to be Irish or spend your pot of gold to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this weekend. Put on your favorite green attire, grab the ones you love and have a great time as you celebrate the patron saint of Ireland. Count your lucky stars, we have ideas from Friday to Monday that will give your family cause to dance a little Irish jig of their own.
Start your weekend with a dance in your heart and a song in your ear 7 p.m. Friday at Irish Dance Chicago at the Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox Ave., Chicago. Dancers from the Sheila Tully Academy of Irish Dancing, the Mullane Champion Irish Dancers, the World Academy of Irish Dancers and Sprirad Damhsa will show off their finest steps and jigs to music from the Academy of Irish Music. Tickets are $10 and kids under 12 get in free with a paying adult. For more information, call (773) 282-7035 or visit www.irish-american.org.
What is St. Patrick’s Day without a parade? And it’s not Chicago unless the river is green, so head on over to the upper level bridges on Columbus Drive or Michigan Avenue around 10:45 a.m. Saturday to watch the Chicago Journeymen Plumbers turn the Chicago River green for the 40th year. Afterwards, find your spot along Columbus Drive between Balbo Drive and Monroe Street to watch floats, bands, horses, performances from the Trinity Academy of Irish Dance and plenty of people as they sport their finest green at noon. The best part of the parade? It’s free. Pack a picnic and you’re all set. For more information, visit www.chicagostpatsparade.com.
If simply watching a parade isn’t enough for your constantly moving family, run in your own parade. This Sunday at 9 a.m., join other moving Chicagoans at the 7th Annual St. Paddy's Day 5k Run/Walk. Bring the kids along, too, for the Leprechaun Leap, a kids' race, which starts at 10:15 a.m. All proceeds benefit Amigos de las Americas (AMIGOS), an international, non-profit organization that provides leadership and community service opportunities for young people. The races start at Diversey Harbor, 2601 N. Cannon Drive, Chicago. Entry fee is $20-$30 depending upon when you register. The kids’ dash is free. For more information or to register, call (773) 868-3010 or visit www.chicagoevents.com.
Before you go green in the face from all of the festivities, wind down your weekend with a St. Patrick's Day Party on Monday from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox Ave., Chicago. The party begins with Mass at 11 a.m. and includes Irish dancing, music with the Matt Stedman Band and the Chancey brothers. There will also be food. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased by calling (773) 282-7035, ext. 10. For more information, visit the Web site, www.irish-american.org.
Photos courtesy of Dean Battaglia and the Trinity Academy of Irish Dance, www.trinityirishdancers.com.
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