Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade


Chicago River on St. Patrick's Day
Chicago River on St. Patrick’s Day

When: March 17th or the Sunday closest to the Holiday at 9 A.M.

Where: Chicago River, Wacker Drive to State Street.

Why: To celebrate St. Patrick, one of Ireland’s patron saints, who ministered Christianity in Ireland during the fifth century. 

History: Chicago has approximately 204,000 people who claim to be of Irish ancestry. That’s about 7.5 percent of Chicago’s population. The Irish started immigrating to Chicago around 1845 when the Great Famine began. Along with their belongings and family, they made sure to bring the Ireland culture. One of the biggest holidays for the Irish is St. Patrick’s Day. It’s celebrated in every country that has an Irish population. Every city or country celebrates it a little differently.

St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago happens on March 17th or the Sunday closest to the holiday. They start the parade off by dyeing the Chicago River bright green. The river dyeing happens between Columbus Drive and State Street. The river dyeing usually begins at 9 A.M. or depending on the weather, it could start later on in the day. But big crowds usually start forming early in the morning.

The Parade begins at noon from Columbus Drive.  It’s one of the biggest parades in the country. You can expect to see local politicians, bag pipes, and Irish dancers. Floats aren’t usually a thing at this parade, but don’t be surprised if you see one.

Like it or not, drinking booze is a huge part of St. Patty’s Day. In fact, bars open as early as 7 A.M. for breakfast and green beer. Music is also being played by local musicians to mark the occasions. Here are some popular places to go drinking on St. Patty’s.

-Marge’s Still

-Green Door Tavern


Chicago, St. Patricks, Irish
Irish man dyes mustache green



The Irish Heritage Center has a huge party right after the parade and go on all the way till midnight. They have food, drinks, music, and just good people to be around and have fun with. There’s plenty of children’s activities and an Arts and Crafts Fair.

Whatever you choose to do on St. Patty’s remember to be safe but also have a blast. Nobody parties like Irish Americans on St. Patty’s.

-Nabil Aleem

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