The Scene

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with parades, live music in suburban Chicago, northern Illinois

St. Charles St. Patrick Day Parade processes down Main Street on Saturday, March 11, 2023.

Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, and there are a plethora of ways to celebrate the Emerald Isle in the Chicago area.

From lively parades to live Irish music to a traditional dinner of soda bread and corned beef, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re a seasoned reveler or just looking for a touch of Irish cheer, check out our list of fun St. Patrick’s Day events happening over the next few weeks. So dust off your shamrock necklaces, practice your jig and get ready to paint the town green.

Rockford St. Patrick’s Day Parade

You don’t have to travel to Chicago to get that big city Irish party vibe. The city of Rockford will host its 48th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade at 3 p.m Saturday, March. 16. The parade will start at Rockford Public Schools administration building at 501 7th St. before heading west on State Street across the river to Main Street. From there, it will head south to Embassy Suites Hotel, 416 S. Main St., which will host Paddyfest from 4 to 7 p.m. Admission to Paddyfest is $10, and the event will feature live Irish music and an Irish buffet for an additional cost. The Rock River will change colors to become a vibrant green during the event to celebrate the city’s Irish heritage. For more information, visit

Aurora St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Aurora with the city’s inaugural parade. The Daniel D. Dolan’s St. Patrick’s Day parade is Sunday, March 17 from 11 a.m to noon. It will step off at the corner of Water Street and Downer Place, head west on Downer, and end at Downer and Stolp Avenue. For more information, click here.

City of Marseilles St. Patrick’s Day Parade

The city will celebrate with its annual lighted parade at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 16. The parade route begins at 200 Riverfront Dr., and will travel north on Main Street to Washington Street, then east on Washington Street to Chicago Street and Broadway Street, then west to Main Street and back to Riverfront Drive. For more information, visit

ShamROCK the Fox

This three-day event in downtown McHenry returns Friday, March 15 and runs through St.Patrick’s Day, Sunday, March 17. Live music and green beer begin March 15 from 5 to 11 p.m. at Miller Point Park. The festival continues Saturday with the Kiwanis Shamrock Shuffle at 7 a.m., followed by the Fox River dyeing at Blarney Island at 10 a.m. and more live music and activities in Miller Point Park from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. The parade steps off at noon Saturday. Wrap up the weekend with fireworks at 7 p.m. Sunday, March 17 at Miller Point Park. For more information, visit the Facebook page.

A jet skier clad dressed as a leprechaun stirs dye into the Fox River during the ShamROCKS the Fox festival in McHenry on Saturday, March 12, 2022.

Utica St. Patrick’s Day Parade

This annual event, sponsored by the Utica Business Association, begins at 4 p.m. March 16. The parade will start at the south end of town and conclude downtown. The activities continue with live entertainment, food and drink specials, and in store deals throughout the community. For more information, visit the village’s website.

“A Shamrockin’ Good Time”

The Rialto Square Theatre in downtown Joliet will host this annual fundraiser event on Thursday, March 14, which will feature both traditional and contemporary live Irish music, including headliners The Larkin & Moran Brothers from Chicago, as well as Irish dancers, bagpipers and more. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for children 12 and under, and are available online at or at the Rialto Box Office.

Sheez-It in Mt. Morris & Oregon

Join the all-female cover band for a rockin’ St. Patrick’s Day party at Mullarkey’s Bar and Grill in Mt. Morris. The band will perform at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 17. Enjoy an afternoon of dancing and Irish cheer. Mullarkey’s is located at 12 W. Main St., Mt. Morris. Sheez-It will also perform at The Hunt Club, 101 Washington St., Oregon, from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 16. For more information, visit the band’s Facebook page.

Sham-rock 5K and Fun Run

The 5K race is at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, March 16 at the Dixon Family YMCA, 110 N. Galena Ave. The Kids Fun Run is at 8:30 a.m. Proceeds from the event support the YMCA’s youth programs. For more information, visit

Shamrocked Woodstock Streetfest

Benton Street Tap’s annual party returns on Saturday, March 16 with headliner Bella Cain from 7 to 10 p.m. Doors open at 11 a.m. Other performers include Terry Byrne, Interstate 90, WildFire and an after party with Esses & Danny Vintage from 10 to 11 p.m. Guests can enjoy the party in a heated tent on Benton Street near the train station. Tickets are $10 if purchased online and $15 at the door. For more information, visit the Facebook page.

Yorkville St. Patrick’s Day Celebration

Head to downtown Yorkville for a full day of Irish fun on Saturday, March 16. The “Run S.O.B. Run” 5K and the Lucky Leprechaun Hunt kick off the day’s events at 9 a.m. The hunt runs until noon. Enjoy live music from Procession Brass Band at 10:15 a.m. until the Irish Parade starts at 11 a.m. Live music, food and drink will be available throughout the day. Click here for more information.

Obscurity Brewing’s St. Patrick’s Day Party

Obscurity Brewing’s party begins at noon and goes until 10 p.m. on Saturday, March 16 in its Warehouse on North location at 217 W. North St., Elburn. The band Back Country Roads will perform from 7 to 10 p.m., while DJ Dre will keep the party rocking from 1 to 6 p.m. Guests can enjoy St. Patrick’s-themed green beer, drinks, shot specials and food. For more information, visit

The Irish Mystics

The Venue in Aurora will host a St. Patrick’s Day celebration and benefit featuring The Irish Mystics on Saturday, March 16. The Irish Mystics formed during the pandemic to raise funds for The Venue when the music room offered livestreamed shows. Now back on the stage, the show will also offer raffle prizes and the audience can order beverages and snacks from the bar. The Venue is located at 21 S. Broadway, Aurora. For more information, visit

Aimee Barrows

Aimee Barrows

Aimee Barrows is the editor of The Scene, Shaw Local News Network's entertainment section. The Scene is your go-to destination for all things fun in Northern Illinois. Prior to The Scene, Aimee was the editor of the Kane County Chronicle for five years, and a freelance reporter for Shaw Media for four years.