This year, St. Patrick's Day falls on Sunday, March 17, with a weekend of fun events celebrating the Irish. Events include the annual St. Patrick's Day parade, dyeing the Chicago River green, and other great Chicago St. Patrick's Day-inspired things to do.
This Chicago St. Patrick's Day tradition that for the last 40-plus years starts at 10 a.m. at the Chicago River (Wacker Drive and Columbus Drive) and turns the river an emerald green.
A bit of history: In 1961 Stephen Bailey was approached by a plumber who was wearing some white coveralls, they knew this only because they could see some of the original color. These coveralls had been mostly stained or dyed a perfect shade of green, an Irish green to better describe it. It was when Stephen Bailey asked how the coveralls got this way, that they discovered that the dye used to detect leaks into the river turned green, not just any color green, but the perfect color green.
Chicago's Annual St. Patrick's Day parade begins at noon on Saturday, March 16, beginning at Balbo and Columbus at noon. Dyeing of the Chicago River starts at 10:45 a.m. followed by the parade, which attracts about 400,000 people.
The day-long celebration at the Irish American Heritage Center (4626 N. Knox Avenue) includes music and dance and face painting for children. Performers include Tim O’Shea and Phillip Crickland, Chicago Reel, the Chancey Brothers, O’Hare School of Irish Dance, Sheila Tully School of Irish Dance and more. The party is from noon to midnight and tickets are $10 at the door. Children 12 and under are free. There will be a mass at 11:30 a.m.
Adorn for your favorite green running gear for the annual St. Paddy's run/walk to benefit the Irish American Heritage Center on Saturday, March 16. Race starts at 9:30 a.m. and will be held in Chicago's Lincoln Park. Race will include a 5K Run & Walk and 8K Run along Chicago's lakefront; Post-Race Party with live music; and a ostume Contest. Both the 5K & 8K runs are competitive timed. All finishers (of age) will receive a refreshing beverage
Chicago's Irish American Heritage Center is celebrating St. Patrick's Day with its festival on Saturday, March 16. This large-scale, family-oriented annual event includes traditional and contemporary Irish music, dance, food, children’s activities and an Arts and Craft Fair, with vendors selling Irish gifts. The festivities begin at 1 p.m. and end at midnight with live entertainment by Chicago Irish music groups as well as performers on tour from Ireland. Tickets are $15 for adults, or $12 for advance purchase if bought by the end of the day on March 14. Children 12 and under are admitted free.
Particularly geared for those who need St. Patrick's Day to be a two-day celebration, this pub crawl is centered around Wrigleyville bars in Chicago with registration at Dugout Sports Bar and Sound-Bar. The full crawl list is released at registration to avoid crawl crashers. Tickets to the Hangover Saint Paddy’s PubCrawl Chicago cost about $5 per person. Be sure to come decked out in green.
Held Sunday, March 10, starting at noon (with a special 5K race beginning at 11 a.m.) the annual South Side Irish Parade is back after a hiatus. This year will be different in year's past as drinking alcohol will not be permitted. (In year's past, the parade was known as a huge party, with parade watchers more interested in their beer than the floats.) This year's parade will take place on Western Ave – 103rd Street to 115th Street .