St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago 2015


It must be the luck of the Irish that has brought warmer temperatures just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, which might be the city’s favorite holiday. For a quintessential Chicago St. Patrick’s Day make sure to take advantage of these events.


Chicago River on St. Patrick’s Day. Photograph by Max Talbot-Minkin


St. Patrick’s Day doesn’t kick off until the Journeymen Plumbers pour 45 pounds of vegetable dye in the river to give that beautiful emerald green look. The river dyeing will happen at 9:30 a.m. on March 14 because in Chicago St. Patrick’s Day is 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
9:30 a.m. at the 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 14. 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.
Downtown St. Patrick’s Day Parade
12:00 p.m. at 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 six days 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.  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 four-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.
Timothy O’Toole’s Pub
622 N. Fairbanks Ct.
Lizzie McNeill’s Irish Pub
400 N. McClurg Ct.
Fadó Irish Pub
100 W. Grand Ave.
Chief O’Neil’s Pub and Restaurant
3471 N. Elston Ave.

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