Skip to main content
  1. Leisure
  2. Travel
  3. International Travel

St Patrick’s Day celebrations in Chicago

See also

The Irish have a long and storied history in Chicago. The Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day is the day that all of Chicago’s Irish and I suspect a lot of non-Irish pretending to be Irish come out to celebrate Ireland.

More Photos

The festivities begin on Saturday March 15th, at 9:30 in the morning. Dyeing the Chicago River green has long been a fun if somewhat silly tradition. Workers in small boats throw dye into the river, between the Michigan Avenue Bridge and Columbus Drive, turning the river from a dark green into a bright Irish green. This year however they may be dyeing the ice green as the river is still partially frozen. The real fun is the massive crowd that shows up to watch. There will be tens of thousands of people packed 5 deep to watch.

Once looking at a Green River gets old the crowd breaks up into two groups. The families head south on Columbus to watch the parade which begins at noon, while the twenty and thirty year olds head to the bars. The bars, especially anything with an Irish name, will be packed before 11:00. The celebration lasts well into the night and crowds of loud people who have had more than one too many glass of green beer are everywhere.



  • Small towns hold treasures
    Small towns and their communities hold treasures and precious memories
    16 Photos
  • Migis Lodge
    Migis Lodge is in South Casco, Maine is not the standard lakeside summer resort
    15 Photos
  • Henry Street
    Venerable winemaker Henry Street no longer tends his grapes
    5 Photos
  • Amazing roadside art
    Americana art was first seen painted on the roofs of barns across our country
    5 Photos
  • Hawaiian style kalua turkey
    Try quick cooking Hawaiian style kalua turkey and cabbage in a pressure cooker
    6 Photos
  • Susan Ruth
    Seattle native Susan Ruth is back with her first new LP in ten years
    5 Photos