St. Patrick's Day Festivities Kick Off in the Southland

Why wait until March 17 to get giddy in green? The St. Patrick's Day parties start this weekend.

Southland residents are getting a jump on St. Patrick's Day celebrations, beginning Saturday, March 8 and continuing until the official Day o' Green.

We've compiled a list of St. Pat's parties and parades around the south suburbs. We dare you to try and make it to all of them!


Ireland on Parade at Chicago Gaelic Park
Begins March 7, continues through March 12Get the scoop. 
Now a multi-generational tradition that begin at Gaelic Park in 1992, the celebration is also known as, “Irish Week." Eight-day celebration at Gaelic Park in honor of Ireland’s patron saint, Patrick. Admission is free. A Taste of Ireland at 7:30 p.m. Saturday will feature food, drinks, step dancing, Ceili and set dancing and storytelling. Admission is $10 and reservations are required.

Entertainment on four stages will begin at 1 p.m. March 16. Admission is $5, and $3 for children 12 and younger.

Other highlights of Ireland on Parade include mass followed by an Irish breakfast at 10 a.m. Sunday; the annual St. Patrick's concert at 7:30 p.m. March 15 ($20); and the annual corned beef and cabbage luncheon with entertainment at noon March 17 ($25).

For information, call 708-687-9323 or go to chicagogaelicpark.org.


Oak Forest Fleadh
The Oak Forest-Crestwood Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of Oak Forest will host the 5th Annual Oak Forest Fleadh (pronounced “flah”) on Cicero Avenue between 151st and 159th streets.  The Fleadh—Gaelic for “festival”—includes the CNB Oak Forest Fleadh 5K, an open streets event, a family parade, and a pub and restaurant open house. Parade at 11 a.m.

Lemont St. Patrick's Day Parade
It's a 1 p.m. step-off for the village's first event of spring! Route: Stephen to Main, W. on Main to Lemont VFW Hall,  418 Main St. Refreshments and entertainment follow at the VFW Hall.

Irish Soda Bread Fest
7th Annual Irish Fest & Soda Bread Contest will be held at Charleston's Bar and Grill, 2101 Calistoga Dr. The event benefits the Northwestern Brain Tumor Institute in memory of Lynn Bennett, who died of brain cancer in 2009. Soda bread drop-off is from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be a clown, face painting and kids games from noon to 3 p.m., and Irish step dancers and bagpipers will perform at 2:30 p.m. There also will be raffles and other prizes. Fest admission is $1 per person, or $5 per family.


Downtown Tinley Irish Parade
The parade will step off at 2 p.m.. from Central Middle School and travel north along Oak Park Avenue to 171st Street. Many floats, community groups, local schools and businesses will be featured. Native Irishman Aidan Cronin, the Consul General in Chicago from the Republic of Ireland, will be the grand marshal. The village expects more than 5,000 to attend.


Chicago St. Patrick's Day Parade
The parade starts at noon, at Balbo and Columbus. The parade units will proceed north on Columbus Drive and the viewing stand will be located in front of Buckingham Fountain.


South Side Irish Parade
The parade will begin at noon, and will step off from 103rd and proceed down Western Avenue to 115th Street. The South Side Irish Parade is a family-friendly event and has a zero-tolerance policy for alcohol along the parade route. Please feel free to enjoy yourself responsibly at any of the bars along Western Avenue but there will be no open containers of alcohol allowed in the public way. Fines for open alcohol will be strictly enforced throughout the neighborhood. Please review the Parade Day Parking Restrictions for information on parade day street closures or visit our blog for the latest updates.


Tribes Alehouse & Grill, 9501 W. 171 St. will open at 10 a.m. March 17 and serve a full English breakfast. Entertainment provided by John Condron at 11:30 a.m., followed by the Larkin & Moran Brothers, the Pipes and Drums of the Emerald Society and the New Element Band. A $5 cover charge begins at noon.


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