Chicago events calendar for March 2017. Best festivals, fun things to do, weekend fairs, shows, St. Patrick’s Day parades, Easter egg hunts in Chicago, Illinois.

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Best events for 12 months
March 2017
March 2017

Enjoy the best Chicago events, festivals, and things to do with this calendar of events.

Mileage is from the Wrigley Building in downtown Chicago, Illinois.

Free entertainment

March 1 - 25, 2017 (begins Feb. 24)

multiple locations

OnEdge is a series of experimental theater, modern dance, and performance art. Arrive early. Free.

Orchid Show

March 1 - 26, 2017 (begins Feb. 11)

24 miles north

See 10,000 blooming orchids on display at the Orchid Show, which has weekend classes, Tuesday morning music, and an Evening with Orchids cocktail tasting at Chicago Botanic Garden.

Irish film festival

March 2 - 5, 2017

5 miles NW

Chicago Irish Film Festival focuses on films that exemplify the spirit of Irish culture at Logan Theatre and the Society for Arts.

Custom car show

March 3 - 5, 2017

17 miles NW

World of Wheels features hot rods, competition cars, specialty, and concept vehicles at the Rosemont convention center.

Green film festival

March 3 - 12, 2017

Greater Chicago area

One Earth Film Fest shows films about climate change, sustainability, and environmental activism.

Shopping-cart race

March 4, 2017

3 miles west

Shopping cart riders race through Wicker Park pulled by humans in the Chiditarod, on the same day the Alaska Iditarod dog-sled race begins. Donate food.

Science-fiction films

March 4, 2017

6 miles north

See science-fiction and fantasy short films from around the world at Juggernaut Film Festival in the swanky, art deco Music Box Theatre.

St. Patrick’s parade (west)

March 4, 2017 (noon)

19 miles west

Celebrate Irish tradition with leprechauns, clowns, jugglers, dancers, bagpipes, marching bands, and floats at Elmhurst St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Free.

Irish day in Oak Forest

March 4, 2017

25 miles SW

Oak Forest Fleadh includes a 5K race at 8:30, bikers and walkers on car-free Cicero Avenue at 10 a.m., a family parade at 11 a.m., and Irish pub specials.

St. Patrick’s Day bar crawls

March 4 - 11, 2017

Chicago locations

These events usually include drink specials and party souvenirs, with no cover charges at multiple bars.

Polar Plunge

March 5, 2017

2 miles north

Join 3,000 who wade into the cold waters of Lake Michigan to support charity during Chicago Polar Plunge at North Avenue Beach, or watch from shore.

The Wiz

March 5 - April 16, 2017

4.8 miles north

Dorothy and her companions sing and dance to rock, gospel, and soul in The Wiz as they travel though a gritty African-American land of Oz at Theater Wit. Discount tickets $13 to $28.

Carmen opera

March 6, 2017 (7:30 p.m.)

1 mile SW

Carmen is Bizet’s classic opera about a hot-tempered Spanish gypsy woman who seduces a corporal, at the Civic Opera House. Discount tickets $48.

Circus arts festival

March 6 - 12, 2017

5 miles north

Chicago Contemporary Circus Festival has 30 shows (juggling, vaudeville, acrobatics, cirque, cabaret, burlesque) at Athenaeum Theatre & nearby venues.

Peaceful film festival

March 10 - 12, 2017

0.5 mile south

Peace on Earth Film Festival (POEFF) features works that raise awareness of peace, non-violence, social justice, and an eco-balanced world, at the Chicago Cultural Center’s Claudia Cassidy Theater. Free.

St. Patrick’s Day - green river

March 11, 2017 (noon)

0.4 miles east

Watch the Chicago River flow green at the Dyeing of the Chicago River [scroll down their page], best seen on the east side of the Columbus Drive Bridge or downstream.

St. Patrick’s parade

March 11, 2017 (noon)

1.3 miles south

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade goes north on Columbus Drive from Balbo to Monroe, rain or shine. Free.

St. Patrick’s run

March 11, 2017

2.7 miles south

You’ll see plenty of costumes at the Get Lucky half marathon, 14K, and 7K that begin at Soldier Field South Parking Lot and go south along the lake.

St. Patrick’s run/walk

March 11, 2017

2.8 miles north

Leprechaun Leap 5K/8K Run in Lincoln Park begins near N. Cannon Drive & W. Fullerton. It ends with Irish music, entertainment, and refreshments.

St. Patrick’s Festival

March 11, 2017

9 miles NW

After the big parade, enjoy Irish music, dance, food, activities, and gift shopping at St. Patrick’s Festival at the Irish American Heritage Center.

Maple sugar fair - Naperville

March 11 - 12, 2017

33 miles west

Watch maple tree tapping, taste a maple treat, and do activities in historic buildings at Maple Sugaring Spring Fever at Naper Settlement.

St. Patrick’s parade (south)

March 12, 2017

17 miles south

South Side Irish Parade is on Western Avenue and goes south from 103rd to 115th Street. Free.

Food festival

March 16 - 18, 2017

3 miles SW

Good Food Festival is all about locally produced food. Visit exhibitors, Good Food Commons, Chefs at Play, and the kids’ corner at UIC Forum.

St. Patrick’s Day party

March 17, 2017

2.5 miles north

Forever Green has 2 Irish bands, Trinity Irish Dance Company, and beverages at Park West for age 21+.

Sports memorabilia

March 17 - 19, 2017

17 miles NW

Sports Spectacular is a sports collectibles convention with 300 vendors plus athletes selling autographs at Rosemont convention center. Repeats in Nov.

Tattoo convention

March 17 - 19, 2017

17 miles NW

Chicago Tattoo Arts Convention features live tattooing, sideshows, and entertainment at Rosemont convention center.

Pet expo

March 17 - 19, 2017

27 miles NW

Chicagoland Family Pet Expo features entertainment, exhibitors, and demos at Arlington Park Racetrack.

St. Patrick’s beer run/walk

March 18, 2017

23.8 miles NW

Shamrock 5K Beer Run includes a 3-ounce beer every kilometer and a pint at the finish in Arlington Heights.

Maple sugar fair - Schaumburg

March 18 - 19, 2017

29 miles NW

Enjoy an outdoor pancake breakfast with real maple syrup and see how it’s made in a pioneer sugar camp at Sugar Bush Fair. Includes a puppet show and hayride in Schaumburg.

Flower and garden show

March 18 - 26, 2017

1 mile east

Chicago Flower & Garden Show features 20 gardens, 100 vendors, cooking demonstrations, seminars, and a kids’ activity garden at Navy Pier.

Improv festival

March 27 - April 2, 2017

Chicago locations

Billed as the world’s longest-running festival of improvisational theater, Chicago Improv Festival includes music, song, comedy, story, and puppetry performances.


March 31 - April 1, 2017

3 miles SW

Chicago’s best chefs serve bacon dishes and drinks for lunch and dinner at Baconfest Chicago in UIC Forum.

Children’s expo

March 31 - April 2, 2017

27.4 miles NW

The Kids Expo features family-oriented vendors plus children’s activities (some ticketed) at Schaumburg Convention Center.

Fancy bridal show

March 2017 (undated)

Location uncertain

Evening of Bridal Luxury includes a runway show by Vera Wang, vendors, cocktails, champagne, passed hors d’oeuvres, and desserts.

Flower show

March 2017 (undated)

0.5 mile south

Macy’s Flower Show features flowers and exotic topiaries in landscapes, plus scheduled events at Macy’s on State Street. Free.

Culture of Greece

March 2017 (undated)

1 mile east

Enjoy the folk music, traditional dance, food, and crafts of Greece at Neighborhoods of the World in the Crystal Gardens at Navy Pier. Free.

Culture of Italy

March 2017 (undated)

1 mile east

Enjoy the folk music, traditional dance, food, and crafts of Italy at Neighborhoods of the World in the Crystal Gardens at Navy Pier. Free.

Culture of Lithuania

March 2017 (undated)

1 mile east

Enjoy the folk music, traditional dance, food, and crafts of Lithuania at Neighborhoods of the World in the Crystal Gardens at Navy Pier. Free.

Culture of the Philippines

March 2017 (undated)

1 mile east

Enjoy the folk music, traditional dance, food, and crafts of the Philippines at Neighborhoods of the World in the Crystal Gardens at Navy Pier. Free.

Wine tasting

March 2017 (undated)

1.7 miles west

Choose from 250 wines to taste at Wine Riot at Venue One, and track your favorites on the free mobile app. Repeats Oct.

Beer festival

March 2017 (undated)

1.9 miles south

A ticket to The Chicago Beer Festival includes 40 tasting tickets, with live music and food for sale at The Field Museum.

Beer tasting

March 2017 (undated)

1.9 miles west

Taste beer from a dozen breweries at the annual Windy City Brewhaha at Revel Fulton Market.

Whiskey Walk

March 2017 (undated)

6 miles north

Taste 8 premium whiskeys with snacks at 8 bars during Whiskey Walk in and near Casey Moran’s.

Spirits tasting

March 2017 (undated)

6.3 miles NW

Meet distillers and sample their spirits at Distillinois, with live jazz, cocktail samples, and food for sale in Logan Square Auditorium for age 21+.


March 2017 (undated)

11 miles west

Hear seven jazz performances in different Oak Park restaurants during Jazz Thaw. Mostly free.

Paper money expo

March 2017 (undated)

16 miles NW

Chicago Paper Money Exposition includes an auction and 85 booths of rare paper money, stocks, and bonds at Crowne Plaza in Rosemont. Free on Sunday.

Film festival

March 2017 (undated)

42 miles west

The Geneva Film Festival screens a variety of independent short and feature-length films from around the world in downtown Geneva.

St. Patrick’s Day Dinner

March 2017 (undated)

1.2 miles south

St. Patrick’s Day Dinner honors the grand marshal of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and includes cocktails, dinner, and Irish music at Hilton Chicago for $175.

St. Patrick’s parade (north)

March 2017 (undated)

13 miles NW

Northwest Side Irish Parade begins at Onahan School and is free. Buy a ticket for the optional after-party for dinner and family fun.
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© March 2017 calendar of events in Chicago, IL. Best events, entertainment, fairs, festivals, and things to do in Chicago, Illinois. ord-03