St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Chicago will be in full bloom this weekend with several traditions emerging from the pandemic in time for the holidays.
From parading through Chicago to munching on Irish fare, there will be a handful of festivities to choose from.
Here’s how you can participate:
The Chicago River Dye
Take a look at the green glow of the Chicago River as it tints at 10 a.m. on Saturday.
The city ditched the tradition in 2020, then got caught in the act when it dyed the river as a last-minute surprise in 2021.
Now crowds can flock from Columbus Drive to Orleans Street to witness the event’s official return.
Once the river is dyed, three parades will hit the streets for the first time in two years.
The St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the Loop will spark an onslaught of celebrations at 12:15 p.m. Saturday.
Spectators can access the course beginning at 10 a.m. from Jackson Avenue or Ida B. Wells Drive.
The parade’s theme will be “Honoring Chicagoland’s Essential Workers.”
The marchers will continue the celebrations the following day with two more parades.
The Northwest Side Irish Parade will begin Sunday noon from the William J. Onahan School and follow along the Northwest Highway.
The historic Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Chicago’s South Side will also kick off Sunday at noon and will pass through the neighborhoods of Beverly and Morgan Park.
Chicago River Boat Tours
Travel the river as it soaks up the greenery with a cruise.
Listen to festive music, dine for brunch, and explore waterfront sites with the various boating options, some of which include:
Old St. Pat’s Catholic Church will host its Shamrock’n The Block party from noon to 6:30 p.m. Saturday in the West Loop.
The event will include activities suitable for all ages with live music performances, bagpipes, Irish dancing, crafts and balloon artists.
Food will be available, as well as a heated beer garden.
Gallagher Way is hosting an event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
Located next to Wrigley Field, the event will feature Irish dancing with introductory lessons, live music and face painting, among other activities.
Green Beer, Irish Coffee and specialty cocktails will be up for grabs for those over 21.
The 23rd Chicago Irish Film Festival presents various programs produced by Irish filmmakers from March 7-13.
Screenings are taking place virtually, so viewers can enjoy feature films, documentaries and shorts at home by purchasing tickets online.
Here you will find information about tickets and programs.
Bites and beers
Brave the high winds expected this weekend indoors with a meal.
Pop-up bar Charm’d pops up once a year in Wrigleyville, adorned with wall-to-wall St. Patrick’s Day decor, multiple bars, and festive food and drink.
Reservations must be made in advance.
Some additional places guaranteed to be in the holiday spirit include: