Chicago’s Quintessential St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick's Day is March 17, but in Chicago a quintessential St. Patrick's Day is actually a week long and longer for some.

Max Talbot-Minkin via Flickr

St. Patrick’s Day is March 17, but in Chicago a quintessential St. Patrick’s Day is actually a week long and longer for some. Here are the events and pubs you don’t want to miss.

Dyeing of the Chicago River

March 11
9:00 a.m.
Chicago River

St. Patrick’s Day doesn’t kick off until the Journeymen Plumbers pour 45 pounds of vegetable dye in the Chicago River to give it that beautiful emerald green look. The river dyeing will happen at 9:00 a.m. on March 11 because in Chicago St. Patrick’s Day lasts more than a day. The dye usually only last five hours. The best spots to catch the dyeing is on the Michigan Avenue Bridge, the Columbus Drive Bridge, or on the River Walk. The Journeymen Plumbers have been dyeing the river since 1962, so this is a tradition you don’t want to miss.



Downtown St. Patrick’s Day Parade

March 11
12:00 p.m.
Balbo Drive and Columbus Drive

After spending some time at the river, head south to catch the official St. Patricks’ Day Parade, which starts at 12:00 p.m. on March 11. The parade will start at Columbus Drive and Balbo Drive and go through Grant Park ending at Monroe Drive. Enjoy three hours of colorful floats flying the green, white, and orange high followed by Irish dancers, bagpipe players, marching bands, and more.


Irish Pubs

Of course, one of the most important parts of St. Patrick’s day is a well-poured pint of Guinness, and Chicago is filled with countless Irish pubs that know how to do just that. Here are some quintessential Irish pubs to visit.

Timothy O’Toole’s Pub
March 10–17

622 N. Fairbanks Ct.
At Timothy O’Toole’s Pub the St. Patrick’s Day celebration will last eight days starting March 10 with Irish food, music, and even leprechauns.

Lizzie McNeill’s Irish Pub
March 11

400 N. McClurg Ct.
If you’re near the river during the dyeing then you’re only a stone’s throw away from Lizzie McNeill’s Irish Pub where they will be open starting at 7 a.m. with a beer tent, bagpipe players, and all the beer and whiskey you desire.

Fadó Irish Pub
March 17

100 W. Grand Ave.
In River North, don’t skip out on Fadó Irish Pub where not only will they have live music, food, and drink. Doors open at 9 a.m., and a $10 cover charge starts at 12 p.m. when the music starts.

Galway Arms
March 12
2442 N. Clark St.
If you’ve never been to a Galway Arms Sunday Session featuring live Irish Music from Paddy Homan and friends then don’t miss the session on March 12 dedicated to St. Patrick. There is a $10 admission, and you can reserve a seat by calling 773-472-5555.

Chief O’Neil’s Pub and Restaurant
March 11, 12, and 17

3471 N. Elston Ave.

Finally, you can’t party on St. Patrick’s Day without visiting Chief O’Neil’s Pub and Restaurant, which was voted one of the top 10 Irish pubs in the world by “Ireland of the Welcomes,” where they will have a three-day celebration that includes a heated tent in their 2,000-square-foot garden where you can enjoy their famous corn beef and cabbage, Irish shepherd’s pie, and a quenching pint of Guinness. They will also be doing a traditional Celtic pig roast where they roast the hog over a hickory and peat barbecue pit. In addition, enjoy a tin whistle lesson, storytelling, live Irish music, and Irish dance performances.


Written By Joel Mora

Joel Mora is editor at Concierge Preferred. Born and raised in Miami, Fl., Joel has slowly ate, drank, and explored his way up north refining all his senses to prepare for the stampede of delicious dining, notorious nightlife, stellar shopping, and captivating culture that calls Chicago home. In the wild he’ll be the red-bearded Cuban with a Lagunitas IPA in his hand.

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