Many moons ago, my great, great, great Grandma immigrated from Ireland to Chicago by way of an ocean steamer. Like so many of my fellow Chicagoans, I can claim a bit of Irish blood.

Discover more about the positive role Irish Americans played in the rise of Chicago at the Irish American Heritage Center, a beautiful cultural center that works hard to keep Irish culture alive through educational programming, fun events, and more. Located on the northwest side of the city, the center - once a former elementary school - now houses a 650-foot theater, ballroom, library, museum, and even an authentic Irish pub! The center offers year-round classes in Irish language, dancing, music and more, for both adults and children, in addition to lectures, festivals and even Lenten fish fries. Check out the centers website at http://irish-american.org/ for a list of upcoming events and classes.

On Saint Patrick's Day, Saturday, March 17th, the Irish American Heritage Center will be hosting a family-friendly festival featuring traditional and contemporary Irish music and dance, fun activities for kids, and good eats. Don't miss the festive Trinity School Irish Dancers, on stage at 5pm! Tickets are $15 for adults, or $12 for advance purchase if bought by the end of the day on March 15. Children 12 and under are free with a paying adult.  For more information and to purchase select tickets, call 773-282-7035 or visit www.irish-american.org

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