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St. Patrick's Day Events 2011

Don't be green (with envy); make plans for these St. Patrick's Day events.


5K & 8K St. Paddy's Run, Walk & Leprechaun Leap
The 10th annual St. Paddy's 5K Run/Walk is Sunday, March 20, in Lincoln Park. Participants can walk, run or race their way through a 5K or 8K course. Green gear is encouraged, and prizes will be awarded for the most creative and green outfit. The kid-friendly and free Leprechaun Leap for 10 and younger is back this year too. Feeling competitive? Raise the most money for the Special Olympics and win two airline tickets to Ireland.

The 5K or 8K  timed (chipped) race begins at Fullerton Pkwy and Cannon Drive. For the hungover or less-competitive, be one of the 5,000 other walkers/runners parading their best green gear lakeside. Then head over to the Peggy Notebaert Nature Musuem for a free post-run/walk party. Live music, awards, prizes and drinks (beer for of-age drinkers) make for a festive and family-friendly St. Paddy's celebration. Proceeds benefit local Special Olympics efforts and the Irish-American Heritage Museum. For registration and more information, visit or Special Events Management, co-sponsor of this year's event.

12-hour Chicago St. Patty's Pub Crawl
Eager to start your St. Patrick's celebrations this year? Then head over to [node:159937 link=Sluggers;] on the North Side Thursday, March 17, for the annual Chicago St. Patty's Pub Crawl. The crawl lasts from 11am–11pm. Ticket are $15 and include five drink tickets (good for cheap beer and well drinks), a pub crawl map and an official wristband. In the spirit of green, dress green and think green by picking up your reusable St. Patty's Pub Crawl mug at the beginning of the crawl. Tickets can be purchased at Sluggers (3540 N Clark St, 773-248-0055) or online at

[node:178201 link=e.leaven Food Company;] "Luck of the Irish" Treats
Sweet and savory foodies will want to stop in at e.leaven Food Company between March 12th-19th. The folks over there are baking Guinness brownies and cupcakes and dishing up traditional Irish breakfast ($9.99) and corned beed sandwich/Guinness combo meals ($11.99). Green attire not required unless you tend to lean toward the green. (54 E. Ontario, 312-202-0899)

Free Rides


Need a designated driver? Let Miller Lite cart your Irishness to and from downtown and North Side locations. On March 12, (10am–6pm) and March 17 (2–10pm), the Miller Lite Free Ride program teams with the Chicago Transit Authority, sponsor bars and restaurants and community safety organizations to provide free shuttle rides between St. Paddy festivities. For specific pick-up and drop-off locations and times, text CHIRISH to 30364.

Greening the Chicago River
Heading downtown for the parade? You may want to stop by the Michigan Avenue bridge prior to the parade to watch the Chicago River turn green. On Saturday, March 12, the tradition of coloring the river begins at 10am. The Chicago River was first dyed green in 1962 and quickly became a popular pre-parade event. You'll want to head to the river early, the ecofriendly dye lasts only a few hours. 

[node:210955 link=Market;] Free Parade Day Shuttle, Irish Fare & Drink Specials
West Loopers and Market fans, alike, can grab a ride to the Chicago St. Patty's Day Parade and then shuttle back to Market to feast on $12 corn beef 'n cabbage and $9 bangers 'n mash. Drink specials include $2 St. Patty's Day shots, $6 Car Bomb shots, $5 Guinness pints and $4 Bushmills shots. (1113 W. Randolph, 312-929-4787)

Martin Sheen & Old St. Pat's [node:250009 link=Siamsa na nGael;] Concert
Move over Charlie, Martin upstages you as this year's narrator for Old St. Pat's annual Siamsa na nGaelcelebration at the Chicago Symphony Center. Lovers of Celtic culture will enjoy an evening of Irish song, dance and performances by the Metropolis Symphony Orchestra, Trinity Irish Dancers and Old St. Pat's Choir and special guest performances by Michael Boschert, Catherine O'Connell and Rodrick Dixon. Special tribute will be paid to the "Soldiers of Fortune," who fought alongside Chileans and Mexicans in liberating their countries from Spain. Ticket prices are $25, $45 or $55 and can be purchased at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra box office or online at A post-performance reception will be held in the Grainger Ballroom; tickets ($125) include main-floor seating and entry to the reception. (Wednesday, March 16, 7:30–10pm)

Shamrock-it! at [node:148797 link=Rockit Bar & Grill;]
Doors open at 10am and drink specials include $7 Car Bombs, $5 Guinness pints, $5 Jameson shots and $4 green beer. (3700 N. Clark & 22 W. Hubbard, March 12th)

[node:152183 link=The Temple Bar;] & Tim Flemming
Direct from Kerry, Ireland, Tim Flemming brings a bit of the Irish to Celtic tune fans (Oh' Danny Boy"?) March  11th-12th. Tunes continue on March 17th with a performance by Baal Tinne. Irish east load the menu and include favorites like curry chips, Guinness beef stew, Shephard's pie and fish n' chips. Don't forget the Irish whiskey, it's a staple at this classic Celtic joint. (3001 N. Ashland)

Trump Tower Skyboxes 
Skybox seating on Trump Tower's 17th floor can be reserved for front-row luxury viewing for the greening of the river and St. Patrick's Parade. Hosts can choose from all-inclusive drink packages and breakfast ($50/person) or lunch ($60/person) menus featuring Irish fare from executive chef Frank Brunacci. (Trump International Hotel & Tower 401 N Wabash Ave, 877-458-7867)

Wake and Shake
Can wait to get your drink on? Head over to the [node:211007 link=Public House;] (400 N State St) or the [node:215981 link=Bull and Bear;] before the parade for an 8am–noon ticketed drink package. Tickets are $20 and include green beer and mug, open bar and a $10 gift certificate that can be used for lunch any day of the week. Drink specials will run throughout the weekend. Limited ticket sales. (431 N. Wells)

Whiskey Flights from the ol' Country at [node:150377 link=Sable Kitchen & Bar;]
Love Irish whiskey? Sable Kitchen & Bar is featuring of three whiskeys for $20. Featured whiskeys include Redbreast 12 year triple pot-distilled single malt, Powers 12 year blend, and Knappogue Castle 12 year triple distilled single malt. If you're wanting to mix it up, order the whiskey cocktail; a concoction of Everybody's Irish, Knappogue Castle 12 year, Green Chartreuse, creme de menthe and fresh lime juice. (505 N. State, 312-755-9704)

RECOMMENDED: See more St. Patrick's Day in Chicago

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