Time to get out your green

St. Patrick's Day is right around the corner, as are spots to celebrate

Few places mark St. Patrick's Day like Chicago and its surrounding suburbs. And with several local events already green-lighted for this weekend, there are plenty of opportunities to soak up lucky vibes between now and March 17. Check out these offerings.

• Elmhurst's 27th annual St. Patrick's Day parade will step off at noon Sunday, March 9, from Wilson Street and Spring Road. The procession will head north on Spring and end at the railroad crossing one block south of St. Charles Road in front of Silverado Grill.

The parade will feature more than 80 floats, marching units and animated characters along with local organizations, businesses and clubs along the one-mile stretch. Irish dancers, the Shannon Rovers, team mascots - like Benny the Bull, Southpaw and Tommy Hawk - and the Elmhurst Armpit Orchestra featuring the world's largest drum are just some of this year's parade participants.

Visit http://www.elmhurststpatsparade.com for details.

• Palmer Place, 56 S. La Grange Road in La Grange, will hold its 41st annual two-weekend Shamrockfest celebration Friday to Sunday, March 8-10 and 15-17.

Among the attractions are the Dublin Duo at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 9; the Chicago Highlanders Pipes & Drums at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, March 9; the Onórach Mulhern Geraghty School of Irish Dance at 11:30 a.m. Friday, March 15; and the Shannon Rovers at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 16 and 5:30 p.m. Sunday, March 17.

For a full schedule of performances, visit http://www.palmerslagrange.com or call (708) 482-7127.

• Ballydoyle Irish Pub & Restaurant, 5157 Main St. in Downers Grove, hosts St. Practice Day Saturday, March 16, featuring a lineup of dancing and musical performers beginning at 2:30 p.m. A $7 cover goes into effect at 3 p.m. The main event on Sunday, March 17, starts early with the Kegs & Eggs breakfast at 8 a.m. Live music, Irish dancing and bagpipers will continue throughout the day and night. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door beginning at noon.

Visit http://www.ballydoylepub.com or call (630) 969-0600 for tickets or more information.

• Imperial Oak Brewing, 501 Willow Blvd. in Willow Springs, will also extend its 10th annual St. Patrick's Day celebration over two weekends starting Sunday, March 10, and continuing Friday through Sunday, March 15-17.

The Harlin School of Dance will perform at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 10, and the Trinity Irish Dancers will entertain guests with multiple shows on each of the other three days at the Willow Springs and Brookfield (9526 Ogden Ave.) locations. Enjoy food trucks and the yearly release of the brewery's Udder Madness Imperial Milk Stout, along with a handful of themed beer infusion and special cocktails.

For more information, visit http://www.imperialoakbrewing.com or call (708) 330-5096.

• Drury Lane's Lucille Restaurant, 100 Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace, will serve St. Patrick's Day Brunch at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, March 17. Enjoy traditional Irish dishes such as corned beef and cabbage, while listening to the joyful tunes of live Irish music. Don't forget the endless champagne cocktails and velvety Irish coffee laced with aged whiskey to complete the celebration.

Reservations are $75 per person, $30 for ages 5-12 and free for ages 4 and under. Visit http://www.lucillerestaurant.com for reservations or more information.

• Irish Times, 8869 Burlington Ave. in Brookfield, will host its annual St. Patrick's day fest from 11 a.m. Sunday, March 17, to 1:30 a.m. Monday, March 18.

Visit http://www.irishtimespub.com for more information.

• There's still time to sign up for Naperville's perennial St. Patty's Day 5K this Saturday, March 9.

The race begins at 8 a.m. at Centennial Beach, 500 S. Jackson Ave. All ages and ability levels are welcome, and participants are invited to wear their best St. Paddy's Day outfit for a chance to win $100.

Entry is $40 - just $35 for ages 14 and under - with proceeds benefiting both local and international charities.

Then enjoy the city's St. Patrick's Day parade from 9 a.m. to noon starting from Naperville North High School, 899 N. Mill St. Visit http://www.saintpaddysday5k.com for race registration.

- compiled by Ken Knutson

Author Bio

Ken Knutson is associate editor of The Hinsdalean