How far is your city prepared to go for St. Patrick's Day? We bet Chicago will stand out! With parades and plenty of never-ending parties in pubs and neighborhoods all over the city, St Paddy's in the Windy City is something to look forward to. But the most extraordinary part of the local celebration, apart from celebrating St. Paddy's Day massively, must be the river dyeing.
River dyeing (March 16, 2024)
Chicago has been dying its river emerald green for St. Patrick's Day for years now. The ritual starts on Saturday morning, namely at 10 am. You can watch the river going green between Columbus and Wacker drives.
Chicago St. Patrick's Day Parade (March 16, 2024)
The River dyeing is followed by the Chicago St. Patrick's Day Parade, considered the city's main event and the culmination of the Irish Day celebration. The procession starts at 12:15 pm, going along Columbus Drive from Balbo Drive and finishing at Monroe Drive. Gear up for countless colorful floats and flags, bagpipes, and Irish step dancers. This year marks the 69th anniversary of this beautiful tradition, sponsored by Chicago's Plumbers Local 130 UA. The massive three-hour parade continues with several block parties.
Shamrock'n The Block Party (March 16, 2024)
One of the most popular bashes must be the Shamrock'n The Block party by Old St. Patrick's Church, drawing crowds with lots of Guinness and Jameson. The tickets will set you back $100, but at this price you've got unlimited entertainment from 11 am to late afternoon. The highlights of the program include Liam Durkin, Chancey Brothers, Whiskey Mick, Pipe & Drum bands, but also traditional fun like Irish dances, kids activities, and more.
St. Patrick's Day at the Irish American Heritage Center (March 17, 2024)
The Irish American Heritage Center annually holds an impressive festival, attracting visitors with food, music, and Irish dances. In 2024, you can enjoy St. Patrick’s Day with The Screaming Orphans in the Mayfair Theatre. The celebration starts at 7 pm on Sunday. Admission is $35 and $30 for IAHC members.
Other St. Patrick's Day parades
Mind that apart from the Chicago St. Patrick's Day Parade, South Side and Northwest Side neighborhoods hold their local St. Patrick's Day parades after the main event. So, chances are you can celebrate St.Patrick's Day at least three times during one weekend!
South Side Irish Parade (March 17, 2024)
The two-hour street extravaganza kicks off at noon from 103rd and Western Avenue and paves its way south to 115th and Western. South Side Irish Parade proudly claims to be the largest community-based St. Patrick’s Day parade outside of Ireland. Please be respectful of the rules—stay sober and abide by family values.
Northwest Side Irish Parade (March 17, 2024)
At the same time, the Northwest side of Chicago boasts another family tradition, which has been thriving for over 20 years. Folks start assembling at William J. Onahan School at 10 am, but the walk steps off at noon, just like South Side Irish Parade.
So, no matter what option you choose, your St. Patrick's Day in Chicago promises to be unforgettable experience. Just book your stay and anticipate the wondrous holiday journey.