11 ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago

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Annual river dying happens this morning

It’s a big holiday here in Chicago – St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner, and festivities kick off this weekend! Here’s the breakdown.



Going green! The city’s most unique St. Patrick’s Day tradition will take place Saturday, March 14 at 9:30 a.m. at Wacker Dr. & Columbus Dr. This free event draws hundreds of thousands of spectators every year.



Official Downtown Parade – One of the biggest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the country! Begins Saturday at noon, starting at  Columbus Dr. between Balbo & Monroe.

South Side Irish Parade – Sunday, March 15 at noon. Runs along Western Avenue between 103rd & 115th.

Northwest Side Irish Parade – Also Sunday at noon. Starts at Onahan School (6634 W. Raven St.).



The Irish-American Heritage Center (4626 N. Knox Ave.) is hosting its St. Patrick’s Festival this Saturday from 1 p.m. until midnight. This annual family-friendly event includes Irish music and dancing, arts and crafts, and food and drinks. Tickets cost $12-15 (free for children 12 and under). The center is hosting a similar celebration on March 17 as well.

The Art Institute of Chicago (111 S. Michigan Ave.) is unveiling a new exhibit on March 17, “Ireland: Crossroads of Art and Design.” It features hundreds of pieces of art from 18th century Ireland. A bagpiper and special guests will be present at 10 a.m. on opening day. Tickets are included in museum admission  (from $14-23, children 14 and under free). The exhibit will remain on display through June 7.



Watch the river water turn green from the Bridge House Tavern, located right along the Chicago River at 321 N. Clark St. They’re serving up a $10 Irish breakfast buffet starting at 8 a.m. Saturday.

On actual St. Patrick’s Day (March 17) head to Wicker Park where Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams is opening up its second Chicago location at 1505 N. Milwaukee Ave. They’ll be giving out free scoops from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m.



If your St. Patrick’s Day goals involve drinking, check out these options.

Chicago Shamrock Crawl – March 14 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Costs $25.

St. Pat’s Trolley Bar Crawl – March 14 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Costs $30-$40.

St. Patrick’s Day Booze Cruise – March 14  from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Costs $65.


Follow @UrbanAgendaWGN on Twitter for more fun stuff going on around the city. Send us your St. Patrick’s Day photos using the red link below – they might be featured in a future post. Now get out and enjoy Chicago!

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  • Frankie Mangan

    On St patricks day will you all please raise a glass and toast the people of ireland who have suffered terribly at the hands of spineless tyrants. We have epidemic rates of Suicide, Homelessness and hunger because the “fighting Irish” lay down like cowards as our Country was sold to the highest bidder, Educate yourselves on what is really going on in our great Country.