Many of the major U.S. cities like to do it up big for St. Patrick’s Day, and Chicago is no exception. Chicago is famous for the St. Patrick’s Day tradition of dyeing the Chicago River green. Thousands of people dressed in green gather to watch this tradition happen live, then turn their attention to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Chicago’s downtown parade occurs on St. Patrick’s Day (March 17) this year, beginning with the dyeing of the Chicago River at 9am. The parade itself begins at noon at the corner of Balbo Avenue and Columbus Drive, then travels north on Columbus Drive. The South Side Irish Parade occurs the Sunday prior (March 11), stepping off from 103rd Street and Western Avenue at noon. Here’s a rundown of the events from choosechicago.com:
The dyeing of the river has been a tradition for many generations and attracts thousands of people dressed in green to see the action live. And by thousands, we mean 400,000 of your closest Irish loving friends! Sadly the coloring only lasts for about five hours, so be sure to get there right when it happens! If you’re not sure where to watch the dyeing, the best viewing spots include:
- East side of the Michigan Avenue Bridge
- West side of the Columbus Drive Bridge
- Along the banks of the Chicago Riverwalk between Michigan Avenue and Columbus Drive.
This parade is packed with all things Irish – colorful floats waving green/white/orange flags, troops of Irish step-dancers, booming marching bands and bagpipers, and, of course, anything green! It happens rain or shine and lasts for about three hours. If you want more elbow and viewing room, we recommend grabbing a green beer and snagging a spot toward the start of the parade in Grant Park (Columbus & Balbo). Or, if you’re willing to pay, you can purchase tickets for VIP grandstand seating here.
After enjoying the festivities, continue the fun by joining a pub crawl or stopping at one of Chicago’s many fabulous restaurants for a bite to eat. Crazy Pour is the best upscale sports bar in Chicago, featuring many food and drink specials. Stop in to sample our delicious fare – we have an extensive menu you can view here. We also specialize in quenching your thirst with a various selection of craft beer and fine liquor. Make sure you add a visit to Crazy Pour to your St. Patrick’s Day schedule!