It’s not St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago without a parade, and you can’t have a procession in Grant Park without dyeing the Chicago River bright green. Kick off the Irish holiday by finding a spot on the Michigan Avenue bridge, where you can watch gallons of dye being poured into the river. Then, make your way over to Grant Park, where bagpipers, dancers and politicians make their way north on Columbus Avenue during the afternoon.
After the festivities are finished, stick around to enjoy everything that the Loop has to offer or make your way to some of the best Irish Pubs in the Chicagoland area (see Michael Embrey’s favorites Irish Pubs listed below). See below for everything you need to know about the Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade to make the greenest day of the year a little bit easier.
Start the day off early with a shot Jameson as the festivities start with the dyeing of the Chicago River at 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 16. For optimal views of the fluorescent green water, head to the east side of the Michigan Avenue bridge, the west side of the Columbus Drive bridge, or find a spot on the Riverwalk between State Street and Columbus Drive. If you are lucky, get a hotel overlooking the Chicago River so you can stay warm and enjoy the view. Regardless, start yea morning off with a wee bit of Jameson, even an Irish Coffee will help lift your spirits.
The Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade begins at noon, and this year’s parade steps off from the intersection of Columbus and Balbo Drives, continuing north on Columbus until concluding at Monroe Street. Barricades are set up along Columbus, and attendees typically arrive early to set up seats. The main viewing stand is located in front of Buckingham Fountain, where dancers and bands pause to wave to the crowd.
It is also important to look the part. Wear your best green outfit to blend in with the rest of the Irish crazies.
If you like this special day, you may want to join FunME Events Pub Crawl in Ireland departing in October. For More information please e-mail info@FunMEevents.com about the “Pubs & Castles of Ireland” tour.