A sign in the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, Ireland, proudly states “Everyone’s Irish on March 17,” a declaration that rings true for many on St. Patrick’s Day. What was once a religious holiday honoring Ireland’s patron saint has quickly morphed into a secular tradition dedicated to eating, drinking and celebrating all things Irish.
Beginning Thursday, March 14, and running through Sunday, March 17, the Tri-Cities are celebrating St. Patrick’s weekend with a slew of local festivities and good “craic” – the Irish word for fun or enjoyment as related to music or drinking.
For festive follies and event information, follow the Kane County Chronicle’s guide to St. Patrick’s Day “craic.”
O’Brien’s St. Patrick’s Weekend(12 N. River St., Batavia) • Over the weekend, O’Brien’s Pub will serve corned beef and cabbage, traditional and open-faced ruebens, Harps battered fried fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, Irish egg rolls and more. O’Brien Brothers Band will perform at 9 p.m. Saturday. There will be a bagpiper at 4 p.m. Sunday.
McNally’s St. Patrick’s Day Weekend Celebration(109 W. Main St., St. Charles) • McNally’s Irish Pub’s weekend celebration will feature live Irish music, dancers and pipe bands. The pub will temporarily take over the currently vacant RX Café to serve corned beef and cabbage, sausage and chips, as well as sell souvenir T-shirts and Irish gifts. Proceeds from McNally’s Guinness sales will be donated to the St. Charles Fire Department. • On Sunday, locals can enjoy a Gaelic Mass with Dublin-born Father Karl Langsdorf at 9 a.m. at the pub. Then attendees will dine on traditional Irish fare for breakfast while listening to traditional music from 2 to 5 p.m. • Drinking tip: The “girlie” way to consume Guinness in Ireland is to add blackcurrant to the brew – it’s what is known as a Black ‘N Black. A dash of blackcurrant gives the Guinness a sweeter taste.
Pub 222 Weekend Blowout(222 W. Main St., St. Charles) • All weekend Pub 222 will have its outdoor bar open – complete with a heated tent – in its cutesy couryard. There will also be live music from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday.
Claddagh Irish Pub(1702 Commons Drive, Geneva) • Live Irish Music with Mulligan Stew begins at 8 p.m. Friday and Under the Willow will take the stage at 8 p.m. Saturday. There will be live music all day long on Sunday. Sunday, the line-up kicks off at 11a.m. with Celtic Sounds, which will perform its rendition of classic Irish music; at 3 p.m. Trillium will take the stage to sing everyone’s favorite Irish pub music; and the Train Company will finish the night with Irish and American rock and blues tunes. There also will be guest appearances from local Irish dancers throughout the day Saturday and Sunday.
TNT Movie Night – St. Charles Public Library(1 S. 6th Ave., St Charles) • The St. Charles Public Library will show a classic Irish film at 7 p.m. tonight. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Food will also be served. The program is designed for 20- and 30-something adults as part of the Twenties ’N‘ Thirties group – TNT. RSVPs are appreciated but not required.
‘Flanagan’s Wake’ at Pheasant Run(Mainstage Theater, Fox Valley Repertory, 4051 E. Main St., St Charles) • The interactive comedy “Flanagan’s Wake” is one of Chicago’s longest running shows. Audience members will be transported to the Emerald Isle where they will participate in telling stories and singing songs as the villagers “mourn” the death of their dear friend Flanagan. The show will take place at 8 p.m. tonight. • Tip: Before the show, head to the Harvest restaurant at Pheasant Run Resort – right next door to Fox Valley Reperatory – for a pint to bring in to the theater. No Irish wake is complete without one. The show is rated PG-13 for language. Call 630-584-6342 for tickets.
St. Patrick’s Day Weekend Irish Banquet Dinner, with live music(Claddagh Irish Pub, 1702 Commons Drive, Geneva) • Claddagh Irish Pub will host a Grand Irish Banquet Dinner and Beer Tasting event from 7 to 11 p.m. tonight. The five-course inaugural dinner pairing will include Irish traditional dishes, such as Cheese and Spiced Nut Mix served with Killian’s; Irish Guinness Stew served with Guinness; and Cider Glazed Pork served with Magners just to name a few. Tickets cost $35 a person and are available by calling 630- 208-0337.
Flavors of Aurora: Stirred Not Shaken – Irish(David L. Pierce Art & History Center, 20 E. Downer Place, Aurora) • The Aurora Historical Society will kick off St. Patrick’s Day weekend with the Irish installment of the cultural series “Flavors of Aurora: Stirred no Shaken” from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at the David L. Pierce Art and History Center. The reception will feature bagpipes, tunes on an Irish bouzouki and traditional Irish food and brews. The exhibit will feature the cultural and economic impact of Irish settlement and population on Aurora. The exhibit will run through April 12. The event is free, but donations are appreciated.
St. Patrick’s Parade(Downtown St. Charles) • About 75 entrants will march down Main Street from Sixth Street to Fourth Avenue in St. Charles during the 90-minute parade. Irish Dancers, high school bands, bagpipers, authentic Irish music, clubs and organizations will hit the pavement in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day weekend. The parade will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday (rain or shine). • A bit o‘ history: This year’s parade grand marshall is Rosie Martinez, who left Dublin to help Maurice McNally open McNally’s Traditional Irish Pub in the late ’90s. In 2000, Martinez successfully organized the first St. Patrick’s Day Parade in St. Charles alongside the chamber of commerce and the city.
Deck Out Your Lucky Dog contest(Municipal Building, 2 E. Main St., St Charles) • Dress your canine in chic green to compete in the Deck Out Your Lucky Dog contest and a chance to win Best-Costumed Pet. Dogs donning green will also join the parade as part of the procession. On Saturday, those interested should meet in front of the Municipal Building in St. Charles from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. or register online at www.downtownstcharles.org.
Arcada’s St. Patrick’s Day Dance Show(Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main St., St. Charles) • Before the parade Saturday, head to the historic Arcada Theatre at 10 a.m. to see local Irish dancers perform.
Little Traveler Luncheon(Atrium Cafe, Little Traveler, 404 S. Third St., Geneva) • The Atrium Cafe in the Little Traveler will host a St. Patrick’s Day luncheon at noon Saturday. Attendees will enjoy an Irish-themed lunch, and a sampling of wine will accompany each course. To reserve a spot, call 630-232-4200 or sign up with an associate in the antiques room of Little Traveler.
Folk Music at Grand Victoria Casino(250 S. Grove Ave., Elgin) • Just One of the Girls, an Irish Folk group celebrating the spirit of Irish diaspora in the U.S., will perform high-energy music with three-part harmonies from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday at the Grand Victoria Casino.
St. Pat’s Day Bowling Fundraiser(St. Charles Bowl, 2520 W. Main St., St. Charles) • The St. Charles Noon Rotary Club will host a St. Patrick’s Day-themed bowling fundraiser and bake sale from noon to 2 p.m. Sunday at St. Charles Bowl. Sign in and registration is at 11:30 a.m. The event costs $25 a person or $125 per lane, and includes two games, shoes, pizza and pop.