LINCOLN SQUARE — Irish or not, here St. Patrick's Day comes.
The city's parade kicks off downtown at noon Saturday, but there are plenty of ways to celebrate in the neighborhood.
If your approach to the holiday is "go big or go home," the place to be this weekend is the Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox Ave.
The Center's St. Patrick's Festival runs from 1 p.m. to midnight Saturday, featuring Irish music, dance, food, children's activities and an arts-and-craft fair selling Irish gifts. Tickets are $15, free for children 12 and under.
The party continues in the Center's Pub from noon to midnight Sunday. Cost is $10 for adults, free for children 12 and under.
As expected, the area's Irish pubs all have their own take on St. Patrick's Day.
The Grafton, 4530 N. Lincoln Ave., opens at 9 a.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday. Live Irish music starts at 9:30 p.m. Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday.
Mrs. Murphy & Sons Irish Bistro, 3905 N. Lincoln Ave., has been celebrating all month with the 17 Days of St. Patrick.
Festivities culminate from 9 a.m. to 3 a.m. Saturday, with pipers and Irish dancers, corned beef and cabbage and plenty of Irish beer. They do it all over again from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday.
Doors at Mulligan's Public House, 2000 W. Roscoe St., open at 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. The pub boasts that it has one of the best selections of Irish whiskey in town.
Dubliner Liz Kavanagh, owner of Lizard's Liquid Lounge, 3058 W. Irving Park Road, throws a party that starts at 11 a.m. Sunday, with complimentary corned beef, potatoes and cabbage, St. Paddy's Day "swag" and live music run from 3-9 p.m.
Less likely scenes of St. Patrick's Day revelry include the Chicago Brauhaus, 4732 N. Lincoln Ave., serving corned beef and cabbage all weekend, and Irish dancers set to perform at 8 p.m. Saturday.
Beans & Bagels — 2601 W. Leland Ave. and 1812 W. Montrose Ave. — is cooking up corned beef sandwiches Friday and Saturday, and Lincoln Square Lanes opens its doors at 10 a.m. Saturday, with The Polkaholics taking the stage at 9 p.m.
Café Selmarie, 4729 N. Lincoln Ave., will have Irish soda bread and shamrock sugar cookies. Amy’s Candy Bar, 4704 N. Damen Ave., is selling Irish whiskey truffles and caramels. At Himmel's restaurant, 2251 W. Lawrence Ave., wash down your shamrock-shaped reuben pizza with a mug of green beer and call it a night.