St. Patrick’s Day officially kicked off last Sunday with the South Side Irish Parade. For those who missed it—a full week-plus before the actual holiday—there are still plenty of options for the Irish in each of us. Seems like every bar in Chicago, Irish accent (Mystic Celt) or no (Grand Central), has something going on. Whether you’re in for the long haul of all-day drinking or just some revelry in honor of nothing in particular, here are your best nightlife options.
Thursday, March 13th: In celebration of the completion of Hotel Sax’s $25 million renovation, Crimson Lounge kicks off its afterparty series tonight with the Chicago début of DJ Mark Edski, who holds residencies at L.A. hot spots Les Deux and Villa. The party ramps up at 10 p.m. and there’s no cover, but donations to Gilda’s Club Chicago will be accepted.
Friday, March 14th: The cancer-support group Imerman Angels hosts its second annual St. Patrick’s Day party for the see-and-be-green set at Enclave. Festivities include a breakdance crew, and an open bar and apps from 8 to 11 p.m. Tickets are $30 in advance, $40 at the door.
Saturday, March 15th: Doors open at 7 a.m. and stay open until 5 a.m.—you read that right—for McFadden’s annual St. Paddy’s Day boozefest. Expect stilt walkers, leprechauns, and bagpipers all day, plus a “teeny weeny green bikini contest”; the winner gets $500 (presumably to buy some clothes). Nothing says St. Pat’s like drunken 20somethings. Cover is $10 to $20.
Meanwhile, Goodbar hosts its third annual Irish Idol Karaoke competition, sans Simon Cowell (hey, he’s a Brit). The contest runs from 4 to 8 p.m., and the crowd favorite scores $500 in cash and prizes. Drink specials include $3 Miller Lite bottles and Guinness drafts, and $4 Jameson shots.
Monday, March 17th: We couldn’t resist this one. Come Monday, McFadden’s hosts yet another green bikini contest, but there’s more: A Last Man Standing competition begins at noon; whoever keeps his or her hand on the bar’s fake Blarney Stone the longest scores a trip for two to Ireland, including a tour of the Jameson Distillery in Dublin. To sign up, e-mail Kristi at email@example.com.
And now for something completely different: Oprah toque Art Smith’s Chicago-based charity, Common Threads, hosts its third annual World Festival at the Museum of Contemporary Art from 6 to 9 p.m. Monday. Boldface names slated to attend include Top Chef stunner Padma Lakshmi as mistress of ceremonies, and one of my all-time favorite musicians, John Legend, plays the afterparty hosted by Paula Deen. Tune in next Thursday for a full report.
Photograph: Courtesy of McFadden’s