Above: Evening in Bloom (March 14): The Chicago Flower & Garden Show (March 15-23) is more welcome than ever after this brutal winter. Celebrate its arrival — and the soon-to-follow spring — at this fête, co-chaired by Bob and Nina Mariano and benefiting several local organizations, including Chicago Gateway Green and Urban Alliance. With its magnificent displays, landscaped scenes and countless blooms, the show is a perennial hit, offering home gardeners great ideas — but you don’t have to have a green thumb to get delightfully lost amid the beauty of it all.
Time: 6 p.m.
Place: Navy Pier’s Festival Hall, 600 E. Grand
Cost: $125. For tickets, visit Chicagoflower.com.
March 14: Rush Associates Board Casino Night
Join 400 fellow Chicagoans and gamble for a good cause at this seventh annual benefit, supporting Rush’s Renée Schine Crown Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Rush Children’s Hospital, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation Center for Advanced Emergency Response and school-based health centers. Enjoy dinner, cocktails, live music and casino games.
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Place: Café Brauer, 2021 N. Stockton
March 14: Night of Flight
Halcyon Theatre hosts its annual gala and honors playwright/actor Nambi E. Kelley; Goodman Theatre’s director of community engagement Willa Taylor; and Estelle Walgreen, founder and director of Hispanically Speaking News for their outstanding commitment to connecting Chicago’s communities and the arts.
Time: 7 p.m.
Place: Architectural Artifacts, 4325 N. Ravenswood
Cost: $75. For tickets, visit Halcyontheatre.org.
March 15: 59th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Post up on the Michigan Avenue bridge, the Columbus Drive bridge or along the riverwalk to watch the dying of the Chicago River (10 a.m.), then venture east for one of the city’s biggest celebrations. Chicago Blackhawks President John F. McDonough serves as Grand Marshal, while Rev. Gavin Quinn, chaplain of the Chicago and Cook County Building Trades, is this year’s guest of honor.
Place: Balbo and Columbus, proceeding north on Columbus
March 15: St. Patrick’s Day at the Irish-American Heritage Center
The North Side institution welcomes lads and lasses from all backgrounds to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a family-friendly get-together, complete with Irish music, dance, food, children’s activities and an arts and craft fair.
Time: 1 p.m. to midnight
Place: 4626 N. Knox
March 19: Lincoln Leadership Prize
Award-winning director Steven Spielberg garners yet another honor, as the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation bestows the Lincoln Leadership Prize on the influential Hollywood powerhouse, presented by Academy Award-winning actress Sally Field. The evening supports the organization’s educational and cultural programming.
Time: 6 p.m.
Place: Hilton Chicago, 720 S. Michigan
March 19: Molly Ringwald at City Winery
The ‘80s icon left her “Pretty in Pink” persona behind years ago, and in recent years, she has successfully fashioned a new career as a songstress. Ringwald and her band appear at City Winery, offering fresh takes on jazz standards and tunes from the great American Songbook.
Time: 8 p.m.
Place: 1200 W. Randolph
March 20: The Illinois Holocaust Museum’s Humanitarian Awards dinner
The Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center honors Splash parent company Wrapports investor John A. Canning Jr., co-founder and chairman of Madison Dearborn Partners LLC, and Thomas S. Ricketts, chairman of the Chicago Cubs and Incapital LLC, with Humanitarian Awards, while Richard S. Hirschhaut, founding executive director of the Illinois Holocaust Museum, will receive the Distinguished Community Leadership Award. Former Secretary of State Dr. Henry Kissinger is the keynote speaker.
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Place: Hyatt Regency Chicago, 151 E. Wacker
March 22: Boundless Readers Gala
Devoted to promoting literacy and learning, Boundless Readers marks its 25th anniversary with this fundraiser, chaired by Kristin and Brian Chmiel and honoring Dorothy Giroux, clinical assistant professor of reading and teacher preparation at Loyola University of Chicago, with the Rochelle Lee Tribute Award. Steve Wolk, professor of teacher education at Northeastern Illinois University, gives the keynote address.
Time: 6 p.m. cocktails and silent auction, 7 p.m. dinner and program
Place: United Club at Soldier Field, 1410 S. Museum Campus
March 22: ‘The Family Barber’
Combining the familiar music of Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville” with inventive, explanatory dialogue, this kid-friendly introduction to the joys of opera features members of the Ryan Opera Center, accompanied by the Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus.
Time: 2 p.m.
Place: Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker