St. Patrick's Day
Few cities are more imbued with the luck of the Irish than Chicago. There’s so much Irish spirit in Chicago that there’s not one, but three major St. Patrick’s Day parades.
ST. PATRICK'S DAY CIVIC CELEBRATION MASS
There’s no more authentic Chicago Irish experience than starting St. Patrick’s Day celebrations attending Mass at Old St. Patrick’s Church. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Old St. Patrick’s was opened in 1856 and survived the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The St. Patrick’s Day service draws a big crowd of notable Chicagoans.
Saturday, March 11, 8:15 a.m.
Old St. Patrick’s Church
CHICAGO RIVER DYEING
The festivities start with the Chicago River itself, which is dyed emerald green on parade day. Watching this annual tradition is as important as the parade itself, so arrive early to stake out a prime view on the Michigan Avenue Bridge or along the Chicago Riverwalk.
Saturday, March 11, beginning at 9 a.m.
Chicago River between State and Columbus
CHICAGO ST. PATRICK'S DAY PARADE
The annual Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade is a huge event — the centerpiece of Chicago’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. First held in 1943, these days the event turns up the bells, whistles, and bling. The parade kicks off led by the city’s premier Irish band, The Shannon Rovers Irish Pipe Band, and goes on for about three hours. The parade begins on Columbus Drive and moves north through Grant Park to a raucous 400,000-strong crowd. This year’s parade theme is “Recognizing Worker’s Rights.”
Saturday, March 11, begins at 12:30 p.m.
Columbus Drive between Balbo Drive and Monroe Drive
SOUTH SIDE IRISH PARADE
The South Side parade attracts nearly 200,000 people to Western Avenue in the Beverly neighborhood to watch the bands, steppers, choral groups, vintage cars, politicians, and parade queen — more than 100 different groups altogether. The focus here is family, community, and the parade’s support and inclusion of the Special Olympics.
Sunday, March 12
Western Avenue between 103rd and 115th Streets
NORTHWEST SIDE IRISH PARADE
If that only whets your Irish appetite, head 30 miles up Interstate 90 to the Norwood Park neighborhood for the Northwest Side Irish parade. At just 19 years old, the youngest of Chicago’s St. Patrick’s Day parades celebrates the “faith, family, and heritage” of the Irish. See the likes of Trinity Irish Dancers, The Emerald Society Band, and Chicago Pipes and Drums, among many others, prance and play along Northwest Highway.
Sunday, March 12, Begins at 12 p.m.
Neola Avenue to Northwest Highway