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Chicagoist's Guide To March: 20 Fun Things To Do This Month

By Michelle Meywes Kopeny in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 1, 2017 5:10PM

Thodos Dance Chicago performs for the final time on March 11. Photo by Cheryl Mann.

Roll into March with 20 of our favorite things to do this month.

March 1-May 3


Now through May 3rd, the Asian Pop Up Cinema Film Festival screens films from China, Hong Kong, Inner Mongolia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Tibet and Vietnam. Eighteen films make up the lineup, including the World Premiere of Goddesses in Taiwan Cinema, a retrospective of six (6) digitally restored movies starring legendary Taiwanese leading actresses from the 1960's through the early 21st century. For info on venues, showtimes and tickets, visit the festival’s website.

March 3-May 14


Every great production deserves a parody, and Spamilton is here to give Hamilton it’s due. The Off-Broadway hit “celebrates, roasts and eviscerates” the Tony Award winning blockbuster. The show, created by Gerard Alessandrini ("Forbidden Broadway") will run for 12 weeks only at Royal George Theatre. Tickets start at $59.

Image via Chicago Beer Festival's Facebook page.

March 4


If you’ve ever thought about knocking back some cold ones with Sue, now is your chance. The Chicago Beer Festival takes over the great hall at the Field Museum from 8 to 11 p.m. with more than 70 breweries sampling seasonal brews. Some of the museum exhibits will be open to peruse, plus there will be music and food available. Get your tickets in advance for this one though, because they won’t be sold at the door. Tickets are $45 ($55 for VIP which includes early entry at 7 p.m.).

March 4


Who is crazy enough to throw an outdoor music festival in the middle of a Chicago winter? The Empty Bottle, that’s who. The winter block party Music Frozen Dancing is back outside the small venue with noise rockers Metz and indie trio Screaming Females co-headlining. Keep warm out there with beers from Goose Island, coffee from Dark Matter and chili from Bite Cafe. Gates open at 1 p.m. Free.

Image via CHIditarod's Facebook page.

March 4


The CHIditarod shopping cart race slash talent show slash food drive is back for another year. In the spirit of the Iditarod, teams of five take to carts instead of sleds and fill them with food to donate to the Greater Chicago Food Depository. It’s a chaotic scene as each team takes on a theme and puts on their costumes in the spirit of giving. Spectators will want to gather near the starting line at Wollcott and Hubbard. Race kicks off at 12:30 p.m.

2016 Chicago Polar Plunge from SCC/Special Olympics Chicago on Vimeo.

March 5


While it hasn’t been THAT cold this winter, we’re willing to bet that the water in Lake Michigan is still a tad bit nippy. A bunch of people will plunge into the freezing water anyway this Sunday, and it’s all in support of Special Olympics Chicago. Past plungers include celebrities like Lady Gaga, Vince Vaughn, Jimmy Fallon and our very own Mayor Emanuel. The first wave goes in at 10 a.m. at North Avenue Beach. Come just to watch the madness or register here to take the plunge. There is no registration fee, but plungers are required to fundraise a minimum of $200.

Kelly Anderson Dance Theatre. Image via THAWALLS' Facebook page.

March 9


Links Hall’s annual spring THAW party and fundraiser is making the move to Navy Pier this year. They’re collaborating with Threewalls to support artists' creativity in visual art, performance art, music and more. This year’s event will feature the expected bombast of performance art among the transformed indoor street festival theme. 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. Tickets are $45.

March 11


St. Patrick’s Day is a huge event in Chicago with crowds downtown for the parade, green river and plenty of flowing green beer. The river dyeing is a sight to see, as they color the water a bright emerald green at 9 a.m. from Columbus to Michigan, but it only lasts for a few hours. The parade itself steps off at noon at Balbo and Columbus. Hit some of the local pubs afterward and drink like you’re Irish. Free.

March 11


Thodos Dance Chicago is celebrating it’s 25th anniversary along with the final company performance as founder and artistic director Melissa Thodos moves to focus on project-based work where she can have more creative freedom. This final Full Circle performance of the 12-dancer company will include the Chicago premiere of Bella Lewitsky’s Nos Duraturi and a new piece from Thodos herself. 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $29.

Family Portrait courtesy of the Hideout.

March 11


The Hideout is the spot to see up-and-coming bands and artists, and every year they throw a party for those making the trek to SXSW in Austin. The all-day party is basically a rehearsal for their showcase sets in a real live concert atmosphere. This year, catch OHMME, The Waco Brothers, Bleach Party, FEE LION and Lala Lala. Cover is $10.

March 11-12


This year marks the seventh annual Winning Works program from the Joffrey Ballet. Each year the competition invites ALAANA choreographers (African, Latino(a), Asian, Arab and Native American) to submit works for consideration and the winners get to place their works on dancers from the Joffrey Academy Trainee Program as well as a $5,000 stipend and guidance from Joffrey Artistic Director Ashley Wheater. This year’s performances take place in collaboration with the Chicago Public Library Harold Washington Library Center and are free to attend. For ticket information, visit the event website.

Photo via the South Side Irish Parade's Facebook page.

March 12


The South Side knows how to do it up for St. Patrick’s Day. Though the legendary South Side Irish Parade has toned down in recent years, it’s still a great time and fun for the whole family. The parade steps off at noon at Western and 103rd. Free.

March 16-19


Chicago's premier contemporary dance company Hubbard Street Dance is back with their Spring Series featuring two works from Spanish-born artist Nacho Duato. Other works on the program include Solo Echo by Crystal Pite and Hubbard Street Rehearsal Director, Lucas Crandall’s 2016 full-company work Imprint. Tickets start at $30.

Image via Garfield Park Conservatory's Flickr page.

March 17


Floral fashion, a runway show, cocktails and hors d'oeuvres make for one fresh evening at Navy Pier. Fleurotica is presented by and benefits Garfield Park Conservatory as part of the “Evening In Bloom” gala event. Guests will also get an exclusive first look at the 2017 Chicago Flower & Garden Show. 6 p.m. Tickets are $150.

Image by Matt Mansueto Photography via Chicago Flower & Garden Show's website.

March 18-26


“Chicago’s Blooming!” and you can see it all at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show on Navy Pier. Spring is just around the corner when we’re thinking about prepping the lawn and garden. Find inspiration and education for your own garden through displays, seminar speakers and more. Tickets start at $10.

Image via Dungen's Facebook page.

March 19


It’s not too often that we get to see a concert from a rock band like Dungen at a place like the Garfield Park Conservatory. Along with the Land and Sea Dept., they’ll present show where the band will perform a rather unique project they’ve taken on. The Adventures of Prince Achmed is believed to be the oldest surviving full-length animated feature film, and the Stockholm quartet was asked to soundtrack it. It’s their first all-instrumental album, and they’ll perform it in full at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25.

Image via Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Facebook page.

March 22-26


The name Alvin Ailey is synonymous with bold, groundbreaking African-American work in the arena of contemporary dance. It's always a delight when the New York-based company rolls through town, this being their 47th annual visit at Auditorium Theatre. This year the Chicago program features works from company member Hope Boykin, MacArthur Fellow Kyle Abraham and will close as always with a work from Ailey himself. Tickets start at $33.

March 24


Party with your pet at the 11th Annual PAWS Animal Magnetism at 7 p.m. The pet-friendly celebration at Morgan Manufacturing supports the non-profit’s efforts to save animals with an evening of cocktails, food, dancing and a silent auction. Tickets are $150 for humans, $25 for dogs.

March 30


Film legends Jay & Silent Bob (Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith) find fun in never forgetting about the good ol days of Mallrats and the View Askewniverse. They’re bringing their hit podcast, Jay & Silent Bob Get Old, live on tour, with a stop at the Vic Theatre at 8 p.m. Tickets are $39.50.

Image via Baconfest's Facebook page.

March 31-April 1


The name says it all. Baconfest is an entire festival dedicated to our favorite food group. Food Network stars, Michelin honored chefs and local chefs will all be on the roster, preparing bacon-loaded dishes for you, bacon-lover, to enjoy. There are three sessions to choose from at the UIC Pavilion: Friday dinner and Saturday lunch and dinner. Tickets are $100 and include tastings, drink tickets, a Baconfest tote bag and a souvenir program guide.