CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WCIA) — The month of March may be well-known for college basketball and the beginning of spring, but for one day, you have an excuse to wear green and feel lucky.
St. Patrick’s Day falls on March 17 each year. The centuries-long holiday has a rich history and it annually celebrates the Irish culture with three-leaf clovers, leprechauns, corn beef, cabbage, and more. Many areas in Central Illinois plan to continue celebrations this year with a variety of events that will surely put a charm in your eye.
History of St. Patrick’s Day
Born in Roman Britain, Saint Patrick lived during the fifth century. According to History.com, he was kidnapped and brought to Ireland as a slave at age 16. He later escaped but returned to Ireland, later being credited with bringing Christianity to its people. He is also the patron saint of Ireland and its national apostle.
The mythology surrounding his life became more ingrained in Irish culture, including the legend of his explanation of the Holy Trinity using the three leaves of a native Irish clover, known as the shamrock.
Since the 10th century, people in Ireland have been observing St. Patrick’s feast day on March 17. The first St. Patrick’s Day parade took place in America on March 17, 1601, in what is now St. Augustine, Fla.
Matcha Cookie Fundraiser at Illini Union
March 8: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
If you’re looking for a delicious snack to get you in the St. Patrick’s Day spirit, the Gamma Chapter of Chi Sigma Tau National Fraternity has you covered. They will be hosting a fundraiser at the south entrance of the Illini Union, selling matcha cookies with white chocolate chips.
Pre-orders are available here.
St. Patrick’s Day Cookie Decorating at Yellow & Company
March 11: 10 a.m., 2 p.m.
Join Amy and Amy for a fun morning of decorating cookies to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. The two-hour class costs $45, and all supplies will be included for the event. Drinks will also be available for purchase on-site.
You must request a refund prior to 48 hours before the class. Otherwise, you will be given a rain check to use for a different party. No rainchecks or refunds will be given for no-shows or requests made after the party. Classes may also be subject to cancellation based on the number of enrollments.
You can purchase tickets here.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Downtown Springfield
March 11: 12 p.m.
Wear your green and come on down to the 37th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in downtown Springfield. A wide assortment of units will be in the parade, including marching bands, floats, and more.
More updated information on the parade can be found here.
A Shamrockin’ GLOW at Allerton Park
March 17: 6 – 9 p.m.
Allerton Park and Retreat Center plan to decorate the grounds in green light for St. Patrick’s Day and their Shamrockin’ GLOW, an Irish-themed version of their Christmas light show. All cars must begin the route in the Main Parking Lot and follow the signs for the mile-long stroll.
Food will also be available with Burrito King and Mama D’s Smokehouse food trucks. More information can be found here.
World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade
March 17: 6:30 p.m.
Celebrate the greenest day of the year with the World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day parade in Downtown Urbana. The parade will kick off at 6:30 p.m. and is scheduled to last for about five minutes or so.
Don’t be late because you may miss it!
Broken Brogue Irish Band at Lincoln Square Theater
March 17: Begins at 7 p.m.
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at the Lincoln Square Theater with traditional Celtic folk music performed by the Decatur-based Broken Brogue Irish Band. Tickets range between $10-$100, and they can be purchased here.
Doors open at 6 p.m.