With so much green to be worn and celebrating to be done, we've got a few inside tips for you this weekend. Check out our insider's guide to celebrating the Irish heart of Chicago this weekend with all of these festivities and more.
Dyeing of the Chicago River (3/15, 9:30AM)
One of Chicago's most beloved and famous St. Patrick's Daytraditions, 45 pounds of eco-friendly vegetable dye are poured into the Chicago River to turn it emerald green for the occasion. The dyeing of the river dates back over 50 years ago, and remains a favorite ritual for many generations of Chicagoans. It draws nearly 400,000 spectators downtown looking to catch a glimpse before taking in the parade that follows. Catch a good glimpse, and stake out your spot at Michigan Ave and Wacker Drive.
St. Patrick's Day Parades (3/15-16)
Downtown Parade (3/15, 12PM): The largest St. Patrick's Day parade in the country is held right here in Chicago. Rain, shine, or even snow, it kicks off on Columbus Drive and makes its way north through Grant Park for roughly three hours, beginning at Balbo Drive and ending at Monroe Drive. You'll see Grand Marshal John McDonough, President & CEO of the Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks, leading the way.
South Side Irish Parade (3/16, 12PM): An old favorite tradition 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.
Northwest Side Irish Parade (3/16, 12PM): This fun-filled community event celebrates faith, family and Irish heritage on the Northwest side. The parade begins William J. Onahan School and winds through the Norwood Park neighborhood, and running south on Neola Avenue to Northwest Highway. The parade will then headnorth on Northwest Highway up to Harlem Avenue.
The After Party: Howells & Hood Guiness Post-Parade Party (3/15, 10AM)
After the parade has rolled through, stop by Howell's and Hood for Chicago's largest selection of draft beers will partake in one of the city's most exciting celebrations with a Celtic Bagpiper, guest DJ, interactive photo booth, and food specials.
Exclusively offered on Saturday, March 15, guests can start their morning with some Irish specialties like Irish BreakfastColcannon Brandade, Corned Beef & Cabbage, and Corned Beef Sandwich.
Irish Eats: St. Patrick's Day Specials
Sedgwick's Luck Of The Irish: $20 Irish Brunch (3/15, 9-11AM): After you watch the green-ing of our river, head north to Segwick's in Old Town for an authentic St. Patrick's Day celebration. Holiday revelers can say ‘sláinte!' as they feast on a $20 Irish-inspired package including grub, green beer and Guinness! Get festive and come decked out in green (as if you weren't already planning on it).
"Erin Go Bragh" Event at Untitled (3/15, 3PM-3AM): Raise your glass of Irish whiskey and get your Irish gig on at Untitled! The celebratory party will feature a variety of Irish entertainment beginning with Untitled's very own leprechaun, Marius (host of Unbridled, Untitled's weekly variete party), as he greets guests with a sweet treat from his pot of ‘chocolate' gold from 4-7 p.m. The night continues with live entertainment from 8-11 p.m. by One of the Girls, a high-energy Irish folk band, full of fun and magical three-part harmonies, along with a special performance by Trinity Irish Dancers at 9 p.m.
Afternoon Tea With An Irish Twist at The Langham (3/14-17)
Looking for a more refined way to partake in the St. Patrick's Day Parade and downtown celebrations? Enjoy a cup of tea with The Langham while looking out onto the Chicago River. With Chicagoans gearing up for one of the biggest Irish celebrations of the year, The Langham Chicago's Chefs have collaborated to create an afternoon tea menu that's fit for a St. Patrick's Day celebration. The Langham Chicago's afternoon tea is served in a prime riverfront location from the Pavilion Lounge. Seatings for Irish afternoon tea will take place at 3:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m
St. Patrick's Day River Cruises
Shoreline Sightseeing St. Patrick's Day Lunch Cruises (3/15, 10AM & 2PM): These popular St. Patrick's Day cruises include a traditional Irish buffet, cash bar and a 90-minute tour of all three branches of the Chicago River (in all of its green glory). Feast on favorites including Corned Beef and Cabbage and Bread Pudding, and toast to the holiday with Irish beers, a Bloody Mary or Irish Coffee. Enjoy the tales from Shoreline docents who will entertain with stories of how the Irish shaped modern Chicago while you enjoy the scenic views.
Spirit of Chicago St. Patrick's Day Afternoon Lunch Cruise (3/15, 3PM): There will be a sea of green aboard the Spirit of Chicago lunch cruise. Take to the waters of Lake Michigan on a scenic 2.5-hour boat ride that boards at 3pm and cruises from 3:30pm-5:30pm. Enjoy the Grande Buffet, music and dancing with the city skyline as your backdrop.
Authentic Irish Concerts
With acts like The Tossers, The Bag Pipers, and Ike Reilley in town this weekend, enjoy some authentic fiddle-laden Irish music. Check out our blog from earlier this week here about Three Authentic Irish Concerts to see this weekend.