Essential Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Events

With temperatures hitting the 60s for St. Patrick's Day, it seems the luck of the Irish has hit the city on its favorite holiday. For a quintessential Chicago St. Patrick's Day make sure to take advantage of these events.

Via Flickr by Max Talbot-Minkin

With temperatures hitting the 60s for St. Patrick’s Day, it seems the luck of the Irish has hit the city on its favorite holiday. For a quintessential Chicago St. Patrick’s Day make sure to take advantage of these events.

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 9:30 a.m. on March 12 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.
Dyeing of the Chicago River
March 12
9:30 a.m.
Chicago River

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 12. 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. The parade will also be broadcasted this year on ABC-Channel 7.
Downtown St. Patrick’s Day Parade
March 12
12:00 p.m.
Balbo Drive and Columbus Drive



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. 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. 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. In River North, don’t skip out on Fadó Irish Pub where not only will they have live music, food, and drink but live coverage of all your favorite European sports. There is a $10 cover charge at Fadó. 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.
Timothy O’Toole’s Pub
March 10–17
622 N. Fairbanks Ct.
Lizzie McNeill’s Irish Pub
March 12
400 N. McClurg Ct.
Fadó Irish Pub
March 12 and 17
100 W. Grand Ave.
Chief O’Neil’s Pub and Restaurant
March 11, 12, and 17
3471 N. Elston Ave.

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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