A celebration of all things Irish, from corned beef and cabbage to Celtic folk dancing and leprechauns (look no further than the University of Notre Dame’s mascot), from bagpipes and kilts to dying rivers green — we’re looking at you Chicago, Indy and Fort Wayne — St. Patrick’s Day has become a holiday enjoyed not just by those whose ancestors hail from the Emerald Island but for a majority of Americans.
Indeed, a recent survey found that more than 60% of those surveyed say they’ll be honoring the holiday dedicated to St. Patrick, the man who is said to have brought Christianity to the island.
And though it’s the fourth most popular drinking day in U.S., coming in behind New Year's Eve, Christmas and the Fourth of July, there are many other options for enjoying the holiday.
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Chicago offers so many options for food and fun on St. Patrick’s Day, including the South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 12 from 1-4 p.m. in historic Beverly — a fun family experience in this large Irish section of the city.
Fun fact: Beverly has a higher concentration of Irish bars than anywhere else in the city — and that’s saying something. There’s also the Northwest Side Irish St. Patrick's Day Parade from 1-5 p.m. March 12 and the Official After Party.
The Chicago River is again green and will be until March 20, so enjoy a stroll or dine at one of the restaurants and bars lining the riverbanks and celebrate everything green.
Dusk, March 17
Pipes and Drums will be leading what is billed as the original lighted nighttime St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Vote for your favorite float at crownpoint.in.gov.
New this year, Shamrock Lane on the lawn of the Lake County Courthouse has a seating and vendor area from 3-9 p.m.
Get Green Fest
The day-long family friendly celebration begins at 8:30 a.m.at the event tent, but the major happenings begin with the Get Green Fest 5-Kilt Run/Walk at 9:30 am.
Then at 11 a.m. at Main Street (Carole Lombard Memorial) Bridge, watch the greening of St. Mary’s River by the Fort Wayne firefighters using eco-friendly vegetable dye.
At noon, a leprechaun will be on hand to drop coins from the back of a Fort Wayne Fire Department Truck during the Gold Coin Hunt, followed by the Lucky Charms eating contest at 1 pm. The contest has age division matches so everyone gets the chance to win.
From 3-5 pm, the Debutants, a local band, will be performing. Find more information at getgreenfest.org.
During the week leading up to and on St. Patrick’s Day, channel your inner Irish with a variety of other events, including JK O'Donnell's Irish Ale House, where on March 17 diners can get their full of Irish fare such as corned beef and cabbage, bangers and mash, Shepard's Pie, Irish stew, and fish and chips. There’s always Guinness on tap at Reilly’s, which serves traditional Irish cuisine.
For more information about these events, visit visitfortwayne.com.
Hessville's St. Paddy’s Day Lighted Parade
6:30 p.m. March 17
The lighted parade runs along Kennedy Avenue ending at 161st Street.
There’s plenty to do in Indy when it comes to St. Patrick’s Day. Besides the 41st Indianapolis St. Patrick’s Day Parade with its Irish dancers, Irish-themed floats, and marching bands, there’s the Greening of the Canal at White River State Park a tent party with food trucks, beer, and performances from Highland Reign and A Beautiful Day.
Learn more at downtownindy.org.
Through March 19
Located near Jasper, it’s no surprise that a town named Ireland takes it’s Irish roots very seriously. Events include St. Patrick’s Home Lighting Contest, Irish Trot, Little Miss and Mister Shamrock Pageant, spud launch, dodgeball tourney, St. Patty's Breakfast, St. Patty's Bake-Off, Cars and Coffee and the Irish Craft & Vendor Fair.
And no visit to Ireland is complete without a visit to The Chicken Place, a popular restaurant known for their fried chicken which opened in 1948.
Learn more at stpatsirelandin.com.
Taste of Ireland Trolley Crawl
6-9 p.m. March 16
Don your best St. Paddy’s Day attire and board the trolley for stops in this historic city located on the Ohio River. Wristbands identify celebrants who can get on and off at any or all of the six Trolley Crawl locations for food and/or drink such as Bad Apple Mac's Guinness Chocolate Cake w/Bailey's Crème Fraiche, an Irish Drink and breadsticks at The Red Pepperoni, and the Dublin Coddle at Thomas Family Winery. There’s also live music, contests, dancers, and more. 21 and older only.
7 p.m. March 17
Look for special four-leaf clovers and other prizes in the moonlight or with flashlights on the lawn of the Schererville Community Center during this family event designed for children ages 4 to 12 years old.
Before the hunt, there’s pizza, drinks, and desserts.