“Everyone loves a parade.” “On St. Patrick’s Day everyone is Irish.” It’s difficult to find the origin of either of those quotes, but combined they define the entire Chicago area beginning more than a week before the actual St. Patrick’s Day on March 17. Maybe it’s the large population of Irish in Chicago, or maybe it’s an excuse for the first parade since the holidays, but people are ready to celebrate the green by mid-March. St. Patrick’s Day parades are scheduled all over Chicagoland from March 8 through March 16. Here are some of them:
- March 8, 11 a.m. Oak Forest
The Oak Forest Fleadh Family Parade travels along Cicero Avenue from 157th Street north to 151st Street.
- March 8, 12 noon Elmhurst
The parade route is along Spring Road heading north from Wilson Street, with pre-parade band performances at Vallette and Spring Road; Prairie Path and Spring Road; and McKinley at Spring Road.
- March 8, 1 p.m. Forest Park
Billed as one of the largest in the west suburbs, the Forest Park St. Patrick’s Day Parade boasts over 70 entries.
- March 8, 1 p.m. Lemont
Parade begins at the Lemont Safety Village on Stephen Street, south to Main and west to the Lemont VFW hall, where there will be refreshments and entertainment following the parade.
- March 9, 2:00 p.m. Tinley Park
A family-friendly event along Oak Park Avenue in Downtown Tinley, no open alcohol is allowed along the parade route.
- March 15, 10 a.m. Naperville
West Suburban Irish Parade in downtown Naperville
- March 15, 12 noon Chicago Downtown
One of the largest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the country, lasting about three hours, the Chicago parade runs north on Columbus Drive from Balbo to Monroe.
- March 15, 2 p.m. St. Charles
Parade runs down Main Street. Go early to the 10 a.m. St. Patrick’s Dance Show at the Arcada Theater.
- March 16, 12 noon Chicago South Side
The South Side Irish Parade, at one time known for drunken lewd behavior, has become a family friendly event with a zero tolerance policy for alcohol along the parade route, which runs south on Western Avenue from 103rd to 115th.
- March 16, 12 noon Chicago Northwest Side
The Northwest Side Irish Parade starts at Onahan School at 6634 W Raven Steet, south on Neola to Northwest Highway, north on Northwest Highway, ending at Harlem Avenue.
Irish or not, don your favorite green outfit and enjoy the festivities.
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