We’re inching up on that celebration when everyone can declare themselves “Irish for a day.” Green is pulled out of the closets, corned beef gets cooked on stove tops and shamrocks are popping up everywhere. And in the Region, Crown Point is the place to be to take it to another level. The city will be hosting the 10th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade at dusk on March 17.
Staging at Solon Robinson Elementary School, the parade will follow Wells Street to the Courthouse Square, where the procession of just more than 30 illuminated entries will circle the square before dispersing at Joliet and Court streets. Diana Bosse, special events administrator for the city of Crown Point, said the 10th annual parade is expected to draw a big crowd.
“The parade has grown tremendously. People are excited to have a reason to come out and enjoy the community and have some fun. It’s something that can include their family. It’s a family-friendly event and it seems to be the only nighttime parade in the area,” she said.
“Each year it seems to be bigger and bigger, and with it being on a Friday this year, I think we’ll really see an increase in attendance.”
Expected to kick off about 7 p.m., it will be preceded by a glow run and on the square while other activities take place off-site. A corned beef dinner will take place at the Crown Point Fire Station at 124 N. East St. from 3 to 6 p.m. Dinner includes corned beef, cabbage, carrots, bread and butter, a dessert and a beverage. Cost is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors. A child’s corned beef meal is $6 and an alternative hot dog kids meal is $4.
The Lake County Pipes and Drums will perform at the dinner and also on a stage in front of the courthouse prior to the parade, in addition to participating in the parade. So, if you love bagpipes, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to hear them.
Also taking place from 3 to 6 p.m. is the St. Baldrick’s fundraiser, which this year has moved to a larger location.
“It’s something that has changed this year. The St. Baldrick’s event is being moved to Crown Point High School and held by the Crown Point Key Club,” Bosse said. “They’ve got a lot of support and the Fire Department just couldn’t hold that amount of people, so now the high school is going to continue the tradition.”
St. Baldrick’s is an organization that holds head-shaving events where participants raise funds for research to help end childhood cancer. Bosse said that those interested in donating or volunteering to shave their heads to raise funds, can go to the website, stbaldricks.org. The group also can accommodate donors at the event.
A noncompetitive one-mile fun run will start at 6:45 p.m. The St. Pat’s Pre-Parade One Miler registration takes place at 6 p.m. at On the Square Sports Academy and you can sign-up online or by mail. Visit YourHometownEvents.com for more info. Participants are encouraged to wear glow necklaces, glow-in-the-dark attire and lots of green. Cost is $15 for adults and $10 for kids when you sign-up in advance. Those 21 and older get a green beer after the run and there will be prizes for best costumes.
Parking for the event can be tricky, but Bosse said that free parking is available in municipal lots and local school parking lots in addition to street parking.
OTHER FESTIVE FUN ACTIVITIES
Little Leprechaun Celebration
10 a.m.-2 p.m. March 17
2800 Colorado St.
Some fun activities will take place in the exhibits for the week leading up to St. Patrick’s Day, including handprint clover art, sweet shamrock treats, a “Clovers and Flight” story time and rainbow sensory bins. On St. Patrick’s Day you’ll also be able to participate in green slime science at 1:30 p.m. or you can make your own clover terrarium at 11:30 a.m. (for an additional fee.)
Activities are included in regular admission of $3.95 for adults, $7.95 for children 2 and up, $5.95 for toddlers age 1 to 23 months. Admission free for infants. The clover terrarium activity is an additional $5.
3:30-4:30 p.m. March 13
Portage Public Library
2665 Irving St.
The party is geared toward kids ages 5 to 11 and will highlight the “spirit of St. Patrick’s Day” with a game, snack and lucky craft. Participants are encouraged to wear green and children must be accompanied by an adult. Registration is required. Call (219) 763-6546 to reserve a spot.
1-2 p.m. March 11
Westchester Public Library — Hageman Branch
100 Frances St.
For students in second through fourth grade, the event includes stories, crafts, a snack and music along with a talk on some of the history and lore around St. Patrick’s Day.