Dyeing the Chicago River Green

It's St. Patrick's Day weekend in Chicago, which means this city will become a Kermit-colored Mardi Gras on Saturday. If you're into impassioned celebrations of shamrock culture, Chicago's probably the best place outside of Dublin to party like it's the second century. We also have the Big Ten Tournament, Chi-Town Blues Fest and a can't-miss concert to look forward to, so kick it with us this weekend. It'll be fun.

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2013 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament (Through 3/16)

As a Big Ten alumnus, I've seen a lot of 49-48 slugfests this year. College basketball's best conference might send seven or eight teams to the NCAA Tournament, which speaks to both the level and volume of talent in the Midwest. The next three days at the United Center have serious implications for bubble teams like Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin, while Indiana and Ohio State fight for a possible No. 1 seed.

Chi-Town Blues Fest (3/16)

For the ninth straight year, Chi-Town Blues Fest pays homage to the city's electric guitar and harmonica-based roots. Not to be confused with Chicago Blues Festival (June 20-23), this annual celebration of rhythmic bellyaching is one-night-only show at the Arie Crown Theater. The lineup features Mel Waiters (likely in a bright suit), the Grammy-nominated Bobby Rush (the singer, not the Congressmen), and BB King's longtime touring partner Bobby Bland.

Good Food Festival (Through 3/16)

Bikini season is right around the corner and if I'm going to stunt hard in my two-piece, I'll need to slow down my peanut butter cup intake. Considerably. Thankfully, this Saturday's Good Food Festival provides a crash course in urban farming and organic fare (and not a moment too soon!). Guest speakers include chefs Paul Virant, Rick Bayless and Carrie Nahabedian.

St. Patrick's Day River Dyeing (3/16)

The river is dyeing, not dying. It's only an ‘e' but it's a very important distinction. Our waterway is becoming a vibrant emerald green, not disappearing forever. This annual tradition draws tens-of-thousands of people to the Riverwalk and downtown bridges to officially kick off the St. Patrick's Day festivities.

STS9 at the House of Blues (3/17)

If you look at the charts, you'll notice a serious lack of instrumentation in today's commercial music. I enjoy laptop-created beats as much as the next guy, but it's nice to get jiggy with an organic composition once in a while. STS9 is described "post-rock dance music." I'm thinking Radiohead meets Outkast, which sounds fun to me.

For a detailed and up-to-the-minute calendar of Chicago events, click here.

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