From pub crawls to parades, there’s nothing quite like St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago!  In fact, we’re all going Irish for the weekend!!

For over 40 years the Chicago Journeymen Plumbers have turned the Chicago River an emerald green, kicking off the city’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.  This year’s Dyeing of the Chicago River (between Columbus and Wacker Drives) is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. on Saturday.  The best viewing spots are on the east side of Michigan Avenue, the west side of Columbus Drive, or upper and lower Wacker Drive between Michigan Avenue and Columbus Drive.

Saturday’s festivities continue with the city’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade: The Music of Ireland at 12:00 p.m. from Columbus Drive and Balbo Avenue in the South Loop.  Spectators can take in all things Irish with colorful floats waving green/white/orange flags, troops of step dancers, marching bands, bagpipers, and more during this three-hour celebration!  If you want more elbow and viewing room, snag a spot near the start of the parade in Grant Park; otherwise, get out there early!!  After all, it is one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the country!!!

After the downtown parade, head over to the St. Patrick’s Festival at the Irish American Heritage Center (4626 N. Knox Ave.) in the Albany Park neighborhood for the city’s largest day-long celebration (1:00 p.m.-12:00 a.m.).  This family-oriented event is packed with traditional and contemporary Irish music, dance, food and drink for purchase, children’s activities, and an Arts & Crafts Fair with vendors selling Irish gifts!

No Chicago St. Patrick’s Day celebration would be complete without a bar crawl or two!  In fact, the city has several planned for Saturday, including:

The Chicago Shamrock Crawl meets up at Casey Moran’s (3660 N. Clark St.) at 8:00 a.m. and crawls from bar to bar in the Wrigleyville neighborhood.  Tickets include admission, a t-shirt, breakfast buffet, a gift card to use on the crawl, giveaways, and more!  Be sure to come decked out in green- as everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day!!

Pick the neighborhood and the bar crawl that you and your friends wish to visit at St. Patrick’s Day – The Five Saints Crawl on Saturday.  Crawls include the River North morning crawl, the River North afternoon crawl, the Division Street afternoon crawl, the Wicker Park bar crawl, the Lincoln Park bar crawl, and the new kid in town: the Logan Square bar crawl!  And if you’re feeling ambitious, you can hit them all; but remember, you still have Sunday’s events!!

Enjoy live, authentic Irish performances including Irish dancing, Irish dance lessons, and a three-piece band by the Old Town School of Folk Music at St. Patrick’s Day at Gallagher Way (3637 N. Clark St.) in the Wrigleyville neighborhood on Sunday (11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.).  Other festivities include lawn games, face painting, balloons, and crafts for the kids!

A long-time tradition, the South Side Irish Parade is a family-friendly celebration of Irish heritage.  The parade steps off at noon from 103rd Street and proceeds south down Western Avenue to 115th Street in the Beverly neighborhood.  Spectators line the route to watch the bands, dance troops, and parade queen. Don’t forget to stop inside the neighborhood bars to raise a pint with the locals!

Enjoy the Northwest Side Irish Parade that celebrates faith, family, and Irish heritage on Sunday (12:00 p.m.) stepping off from Onahan School (6634 W. Raven St.) in the Norwood Park neighborhood.  Afterwards, the Immaculate Conception Recreation Center (7271 W. Talcott Ave.) will be hosting an after-party (1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.) with a corned beef and cabbage dinner, cheesecake, beer, wine, soda, and live entertainment!

Will You Be Going Irish With Us?