Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago

As far as holidays go, St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago is almost bigger than New Year’s Eve. It’s a city-wide celebration with multiple parades and events. Restaurants and bars offer traditional Irish favorites and green beer abound.

There are leprechauns and four leaf clovers around every corner. In March, everybody’s Irish in Chicago. Here are some of the best ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago.

The festivities begin the Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day with the dyeing of the Chicago River. The Chicago Journeymen Plumbers pour a mysterious orange dye into the water, which magically turns the river into a bright kelly green. They’ve performed this feat since 1961 and claim it’s the leprechauns that make it happen.

After the dyeing of the river is the official City of Chicago Parade. Kicking off from Columbus and Balbo at noon, the route marches north on Columbus Drive. The best seats are in the viewing area in front of Buckingham Fountain.

Two neighborhood parades happen on Sunday before St. Patrick’s Day. The South Side Irish Parade takes over the streets of Beverly on the southwest side of the city, and Norwood features the Northwest Side Irish Parade. Both are family friendly and begin at noon.

The Irish American Heritage Center is the epicenter of the Irish community and serves as the headquarters for the St. Patrick’s Festival. You’ll see the Irish Heritage Singers and the Shannon Rovers Irish Pipe Band, both on the Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day and on the holiday itself.

Siamsa na nGael at Symphony Center has entertained with Celtic song, dance, and storytelling for 21 years. Hosted by Old St. Patrick’s Church, the concert features the Trinity Irish Dancers, the Old St. Patrick’s Concert Choir, and the Metropolis Symphony Orchestra.

Restaurants and bars all over the city are celebrating, with green beer and bangers and mash. Even Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse turns Irish be becoming Harry O’Caray’s for the holiday.

If you’re looking for more ways to get the luck o’ the Irish,be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for events, parties, bar crawls, and more.

Author: Theresa Carter

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