Spring is in the air, Chicago! And we know you've been itching to get out into this sunshine all week. While your plans for this weekend more than likely involve some green (wearing it, drinking it or spending it), there are plenty of Irish and not-so-Irish events to keep you out on the town this weekend. Check out our top picks, and let us know in the comments if we missed something great on your agenda.
St. Patrick's Day Festival at the Abbey Pub
Who says St. Patrick's Day should only last a day? Certainly not the folks at the Abbey Pub, which will host its 39th annual three-day St. Patrick's Day Festival this weekend. Musical guests include American English, Larry Nugent & Guests and The Great Whiskey Project, as well as performances by the O'Hare School of Irish Dance.
Where: The Abbey Pub, 3420 W. Grace St.
When: Friday, March 16 - Sunday, March 18
Good Food Festival & Conference
Love good food: growing it, cooking it, eating it? Wander over to the Good Food Festival and Conference for exhibitions from Midwest artisans and farmers, chef demos, workshops and more. Festival days are broken up between industry events and public-oriented activities.
Where: UIC Forum, 725 W. Roosevelt Rd.
When: Thursday, March 15 - Saturday, March 17
Price: Varies by date and event
Taste of College
There would be no NCAA championship if our colleges weren't packed with eager young minds. Enjoy March Madness while supporting college-bound Chicagoans at Right Angle's 11th Annual Taste of College event. Enjoy food, drinks, games and multiple flat screen TVs playing March Madness basketball games, while supporting the group's mission to offer enrichment opportunities to local students.
Where: Galleria Marchetti, 825 W. Erie St.
When: 7 p.m. - 12 a.m. Friday, March 16
National Corndog Day Party
Sure, St. Patrick's Day is an important holiday in Chicago. But with our reverence for well-constructed hot dogs, another holiday March 17 shouldn't go uncelebrated: National Corndog Day. Evanston eatery Wiener and Still Champion has got your festivities covered, with super-discounted corndogs all day.
Where: Wiener and Still Champion, 802 Dempster St., Evanston
When: 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. Saturday, March 17
Price: $1.50 per corndog
Chicago St. Patrick's Day Parade
We'd be remiss not to include Chicago's storied, traditional St. Patrick's Day celebrations, which include Columbus Dr. & Balbo Dr.dyeing the river green and a downtown parade full of bagpipes, Irish dancers and more marching through the Loop. With the South Side parade's low-key turn this year, Chicago's official celebration is your best bet for old-school Chi-town revelry.
Where: Columbus and Balbo Dr.
When: 12 p.m. Saturday, March 17
Evening of Bridal Luxury
Wedding planning doesn't have to be a nightmare; especially when you can do it all in one place, all at one event, with snacks at the ready and a drink in your hand. Let Chicago Social make that dream come true with their annual Evening of Bridal Luxury--and don't leave until you've snagged your swag bag.
Where: Trump International Hotel & Towers, 401 N. Wabash Ave.
When: 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. Sunday, March 18
Price: $65 for brides, $25 for guests
Maxwell Street Market
After a shopping-filled season spent bundled up (a bit!), take your shopping bug outside for a sunny afternoon at Chicago's Maxwell Street Market. Peruse wares from dozens of vendors and take in the occasional street performance at this historic street fair.
Where: 800 S. Des Plaines St.
When: 7 a.m - 3 p.m. Sunday, March 18