St. Patrick's Day 2015

Celebrate Irish culture & tradition throughout Chicago in March
From raucous pub crawls to lively parades and family-friendly festivals, there is no doubt about it: There's nothing quite like St. Patrick's Day in Chicago. It's a holiday when the Irish taverns are packed, jovial crowds jam the city streets and the Chicago River sparkles brilliant shades of emerald green.

Throughout the month, both locals and visitors alike go green all across town in celebration of Irish culture and tradition. See the city's famous skyline join in the spirit as the towering skyscrapers illuminate with color too. Follow the movement to make Chicago the "GREENest City in the World on St. Patrick's Day" at shamrockchicago2015.com.

Between the neighborhood festivities, downtown river boat tours and Celtic performances — and of course the highlight of the holiday, the Loop parade and river dyeing ceremony — there is no shortage of ways to celebrate.

Browse the list of 2015 St. Patrick's Day events in Chicago below.

DOWNTOWN PARADE & RIVER DYEING

Dyeing of the Chicago River

Saturday, March 14
  • Time: 9:30 am
  • Location: Chicago River (Columbus Drive & Wacker Drive)
  • FREE
In what might be one of the world's most famous St. Patrick's Day rituals, 45 pounds of eco-friendly vegetable dye are poured into the Chicago River to turn it emerald green for the occasion. Actually, at first glance, the dye appears orange on the river's surface—but don't panic. Thanks to a little leprechaun magic (or, well, science), the hue transforms and seeps in until the whole river is a bright, beautiful green.

The dyeing of the river remains a beloved tradition for many generations of Chicagoans (it dates back over 50 years ago) and draws nearly 400,000 spectators downtown looking to catch a glimpse before taking in the parade that follows. The Chicago River keeps its coloring for about five hours only, so don't miss out. **Note the new location for the dyeing ceremony in 2015 is further east between Columbus Drive and Lake Shore Drive due to construction along the riverfront.

 

Downtown Parade

Saturday, March 14
  • Time: 12:00 noon
  • Location: Columbus Drive (between Balbo Drive & Monroe Drive)
  • FREE
What's a holiday without a parade? How about one of the largest St. Patrick's Day parades in the country? Downtown Chicago's official St. Patrick's Day Parade is just that. Join in the Chicago tradition that celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. Rain or shine, it begins on Columbus Drive and moves north through Grant Park for roughly three hours, beginning at Balbo Drive and ending at Monroe Drive.

Don your best green outfit—or a kilt if you dare—and embrace all Chicago has to offer for those Irish at heart. Plan on seeing plenty of colorful floats waving their green/white/orange flags high, troops of Irish step dancers in their requisite curls, booming marching bands and bagpipers, and, of course, many a novelty t-shirt.

NEIGHBORHOOD CELEBRATIONS

St. Patrick's Festival at Irish American Heritage Center

Saturday, March 14
  • Time: 1:00 pm - 12:00 midnight
  • Location: Irish American Heritage Center (4626 N. Knox Avenue)
  • Tickets: $12-15 adults; free for children 12 & under
Head north to the Irish-American Heritage Center, a lively 86,000 sq. ft. hub that contains a museum, library, art gallery and performance stage. Their annual family-friendly event includes contemporary and traditional Irish music and dancing, kids activities, an arts and crafts fair, and food and drinks — all under one roof.

 

South Side Irish Parade

Sunday, March 15
  • Time: 12:00 noon
  • Location: Western Avenue (between 103rd & 115th Street)
  • FREE
An old favorite returns to Chicago’s South Side with a focus on family and Irish heritage. The Beverly neighborhood parade steps off at noon from 103rd Street and proceeds down Western Avenue to 115th Street. Line the route with 150,000 fellow revelers to watch the bands, dance troupes and parade queen, or stop inside the neighborhood bars to raise a pint with the locals. And just before the parade, the Emerald Isle Mile, a one-mile race, kicks things off at 11:00 am.

Northwest Side Irish Parade

Sunday, March 15
  • Time: 12:00 noon
  • Location: Onahan School (6634 W. Raven Street)
  • FREE
Enjoy this fun-filled community event that celebrates faith, family and Irish heritage, and this year, a special tribute to community-based efforts on behalf of veterans and military families. The parade winds through the Norwood Park neighborhood, beginning at William J. Onahan School running south on Neola Avenue to Northwest Highway, then heading north on Northwest Highway up to Harlem Avenue. Stay for an after-party from 1:00-5:00 pm that includes a corned beef and cabbage dinner, live entertainment, face painting and raffle giveaways.

 
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Great photo, Eric!!
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Heading to #Chicago for St. Patrick's Day? We've got a run down of all the big events happening that day. Bookmark this page:
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