Erin Go Bragh! You don’t have to be Irish to join in the fun this holiday season. Get your green on, and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in downtown Naperville on March 14.
St. Paddy’s Day 5K
The Irish saying begins,“May the road rise up to meet you,” but you can rise early and meet the road for the St. Paddy’s Day 5K Race, Run or Walk.
The best part of this event is that your young runners can get in on the action too. If your little one is ready to run, this year’s race features a new age group for those up to 9-years-old. If your kids are a little too young to join on foot, running strollers are permitted, but regular strollers are not.
The course starts at the corner of Jackson and West near Centennial Beach in downtown Naperville. The race starts at 8 a.m. so that participants will be finished in plenty of time to watch the parade. The viewers who come early to cheer on the runner and walkers can secure their parade viewing spot before the parade crowds emerge.
Running shoes, new and used, will be collected for the Winged Foot Foundation, which will clean and distribute the shoes to assist student athletes in the Chicago area. You can donate shoes during packet pickup at the Naperville Running Company, as well as on the day of the race. Look for the collection bins near the information area and Gear Check.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade
The St. Patrick’s Day Parade features Irish dance groups, bagpipers and the St Patrick’s Day Parade Queen with her court. Brian Cunningham, a Deputy Chief with the Naperville Police Department, will be the Grand Marshal.
The parade begins at 10 a.m. It starts at Naperville North High School, heads south on Mill, continues to east on Jefferson and then finishes up on Main. You can find the parade route here. Those attending the parade are encouraged to donate a non-perishable food item to benefit the Loaves and Fishes Community Food Pantry.
Parade Day Eats
If you’re craving bangers and mash or a traditional breakfast of grilled Irish bacon, black and white pudding, two eggs, two bangers and fresh grilled tomato, head to Quigley’s Irish Pub (43 E. Jefferson). They also have a few kid offerings for breakfast and an entire kid menu for lunch and dinner. You can walk there from the parade route, but expect it to be crowded. The good news is that, even if you aren’t able to make it in for a St. Patty’s meal, Quigley’s offers Irish dishes and pub favorites all year round.