WEST LOOP — After announcing the end of its two-day summer block party, Old St. Patrick’s Catholic Church is set to debut a festival dubbed Shamrock’n the Block this weekend in the West Loop.
During St. Patrick’s Day weekend, the festival will feature live music, food, beer and more. Shamrock’n the Block runs noon-6 p.m. Saturday at 700 W. Adams St.
Before the fest, Old St. Pat’s Pastor Tom Hurley will serve as the Grand Marshal of the 65th annual Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Shamrock’n the Block will be held in a heated tent dubbed Tommy O’Hurley’s Pop-Up Pub and will feature live music, Irish dancing and bagpipers. The Tinker Boys, Cirrus Falcon, Character Fledge and Chicago Irish Band will take the stage.
The event will also include a “Wee Ones” zone for children that features a balloon artist, face painter, magician, Irish dance lessons, crafts and more.
Attendees have a chance of winning $25,000, a trip to Ireland and other prizes as part of the Pot O’ Gold Raffle.
General admission is $10. Organizers are also offering a $50 ticket, which includes beer, wine and soda, one meal and a commemorative cup.
Entry for children age 6-10 is $5. The ticket includes one kid’s meal and access to the Wee Zone. Children younger than 5 are free. Tickets can be purchased online.
Proceeds from Shamrock’n the Block will support social justice initiatives and outreach activities of Old St. Patrick’s Church.
Ahead of the celebration, Old St. Patrick’s Church will host the 24th Siamsa na nGael performance at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Symphony Center Orchestra, 220 S. Michigan Ave.
The performance will commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the end of World War II and tell the story of the only African American naval ship stationed in Ireland during the war, the USS Mason.
Old St. Pat’s was known for its World’s Largest Block Party, which took over the street in front of the historic church every June. But Hurley announced the church would not host that two-day block party this year.
Citing demographic changes and a competitive summer schedule, the church is focused on hosting new community events, including Shamrock’n the Block, Hurley said in a letter posted on the church’s website.
A full list of performers and other details can be found here.
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