There’s plenty of fun to be had this weekend in the Q-C for St. Patrick’s Day!

It all starts with the2017 Quad Cities St Patrick’s Day Parade March 18.

Two Miles. Two States. Thousands of hearts.

The USA’s only bi-state St. Patrick’s Day Parade is upon us, yet again. The Grand Parade XXXII will be taking place on Saturday, March 18. The parade begins at 11:30 at the corner of 4th Avenue and 23rd Street in Rock Island. It will then wind its way thru downtown Rock Island following 4th Avenue to 20th Street, then to 3rd Avenue to 17th Street and finally to 2nd Avenue to the Centennial Bridge. The parade then crosses the Mississippi River to Gaines Street in Davenport. From there, it will go north to 3rd Street and then east on 3rd to the River Center. A map of the parade route can also be found at: http://www.stpatsqc.com/images/ParadeMap.jpg.

After the Grand Parade, the St. Patrick Society of the Quad Cities also sponsors the Post Parade Bash at the RiverCenter/Adler Theater in Davenport. The Bash kicks off at 1pm and entry is membership only. Memberships can be purchased at the door for $15. You do not need to be Irish to join the St. Patrick’s Society. Children 15 and younger need to be accompanied by a paying adult but will be admitted at no charge. The Post Parade Bash will feature the presentation of parade trophy winners, food, drink, memorabilia, and 50/50 raffle, and Irish music and dancers! You can find more information regarding the Bash on the Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/785244188293952/.

The St. Patrick Society of the Quad Cities was founded in 1985 through the vision of a few Irish dreamers, namely Jeffrey Charles Collins, Francis Joseph Coyle Jr., Jerald Matt McCabe, Thomas Joseph McGinn, Daniel Patrick Reardon and Dennis Michael Walsh, with a desire to preserve, express, and promote their Irish heritage. The Society contributes to many charities, awards scholarships, and promotes various Irish cultural and musical events that occur throughout the year in the Quad City Area. Make sure to check out their Facebook page to keep up with events and activities: https://www.facebook.com/StPatrickSocietyOfTheQuadCities/.

2017 also marks the 35th Anniversary of the River Bend Foodbank. Once again, the St. Patrick Society and River Bend are joining forces to fight hunger in the Quad Cities. River Bend will be marching ahead of the Grand Parade on Saturday, collecting monetary donations with the goal of closing the meal gap in our community. Watch for the River Bend Foodbank truck to make your donation!

This is not a celebration to be missed!

Before the parade on Saturday, March 18, it’s CASI’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Race.  The races start and finish at the River Music Experience Courtyard, 129 Main St. in downtown Davenport, Iowa.  Three race categories are offered: 9:00 a.m. Tot Trot; 9:30 a.m. 1-mile Family Run/Walk; 10:00 a.m. 5K Run/Walk.

Also happening this weekend:

A concert on Friday, March 17 at 8 p.m. celebrating St. Patrick’s Day will be performed by the Augustana Flute Choir, Augustana flute trios and quartets, and Heart Strings, a Celtic quartet with flute, violin, guitar, and recorder/Celtic harp at Wallenberg Hall.

International music duo Four Shillings Short perform a special concert celebrating the music, poetry and storytelling tradition of Ireland on Friday, March 17 at 7 p.m. at the River Music Experience, 129 Main St. in Davenport, Iowa.  The evening opens with music on the Celtic Harp performed by local harpist Laural Almquist.

Harrington’s Pub has a huge St. Paddy’s Day Bash on Friday and Saturday! There is live music on Saturday from 2:30-12:30 with Greg and Rich Acoustic Duo, Jeff and Jordan, and the Quad Cities dueling guitars – Booze Cruz! There is also drink specials all day and complimentary corned beef and cabbage while it lasts.

Tess Abney is a writer and artist from the Quad-Cities who enjoys writing on a variety of topics for QuadCities.com.