Our city is home to quite the St. Patrick's Day celebration! The Chicago River goes green as 45 pounds of vegetable dye color the water between Columbus and Wacker drives. Then festivities continue after as revelers parade up Columbus Dr. with floats and flags to the sound of bagpipes.
The dyeing of the river has been a tradition for many generations and attracts thousands of people dressed in green to see the action live. And by thousands, we mean 400,000 of your closest Irish loving friends! Sadly the coloring only lasts for about five hours, so be sure to get there right when it happens! If you're not sure where to watch the dyeing, the best viewing spots include:
- East side of the Michigan Avenue Bridge
- West side of the Columbus Drive Bridge
- Along the banks of the Chicago Riverwalk between Michigan Avenue and Columbus Drive.
This parade is packed with all things Irish - colorful floats waving green/white/orange flags, troops of Irish step dancers, booming marching bands and bagpipers, and, of course, anything green! It happens rain or shine and lasts for about three hours. If you want more elbow and viewing room, we recommend snagging a spot toward the start of the parade in Grant Park (Columbus & Balbo).