Even people with Irish roots say everyone is Irish when celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day, March 17. So find a parade to hear stirring bagpipes and watch talented Irish dancers. Then say Slainte at an after-parade party or Irish pub.
In the Chicago area, the celebration begins March 10 with the South-Side Irish Parade. That Irish feeling continues in a big way March 16 when the Chicago River turns green and the city's official parade marches up Columbus Drive.
It goes on through March 17 with the Northwest Side Irish Parade and parties at the Irish American Heritage Center and throughout the city.
Irish pubs will be celebrating all weekend March 15-17 with live music.
But to get a head start check out the Irish displays at drugstores such as Walgreens. They already have pins, hats and other Irish paraphernalia and add one of the following parades or events to your calendar:
The Southside Irish Parade, a popular neighborhood event, steps off noon March 10 on Western Avenue at 103rd Street and continues on Western Avenue to 115st Street. Alcohol is forbidden. Indeed, Chicago bars have been asked not to provide buses. Those buses that do arrive are directed to a drop-off and pick-up point. In recent memory, the neighborhood became so overridden with outsiders who drank and littered that the parade stopped being held. Families urged the organizing committee to restart the event but with a police watch and no drinking. For more information visit Southside Irish Parade.
The Chicago River turns green thanks to the Chicago Journeymen Plumbers when the official boat goes out with the CJP’s Mike Butler and his magic leprechaun dust at 10 a.m. March 16. Don’t worry if the dust looks orange. It does turn the river green. Due to construction, the best viewing of the 2013 event is on the east side of the Michigan Avenue Bridge at Columbus Drive.
Chicago’s official St. Pat’s Parade begins at noon March 16 on Columbus Drive at Balbo Drive. It continues north on Columbus to Monroe Drive behind the Art Institute of Chicago. For more information visit St.Pat Parade.
The Irish American Heritage Center hosts an annual after-parade party March 16 that features traditional and contemporary Irish music by entertainers from Ireland and the Midwest. The event has local Irish dance performances, food, drink children’s activities and Irish arts and crafts. Tickets are $15/adults ($12 advance if purchased by the end of the day on March 14). Children 12 and under, free. The party goes from 1 p.m. to midnight. The Center is also doing a St. Patrick’s Day Party March 17 from noon to midnight. Tickets are $10 at the door. Children 12 and under, free. For more information, call 773-282-7035, ext. 10 and visit Irish American Org Festival. The Irish American Heritage Center is at 4626 N. Knox Ave., Chicago, IL 60030.
The Northwest Side Irish Parade begins at noon on St. Patrick’s Day March 17 at the Onahan School, 6633 W. Raven St. The parade goes south on Neola Avenue to Northwest Highway where it turns north and continues on the Northwest Highway to Harlem Avenue. The After-Parade Party is at the Immaculate Conception Parish Center, 7271 W. Talcott Ave., Chicago, IL 60631. Tickets are sold at the door. They are $10 adults which covers a corned beef and cabbage dinner, soda, beer and wine. Tickets, $5 children, covers hot dogs, chips and soda. The party is 1-5 p.m. with face painting and family fun. For more information visit Northwest Side Irish or email Jillian at firstname.lastname@example.org.