Chicago’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations will be in full bloom this weekend with several traditions reemerging from the pandemic in time for the holiday.
Whether it's parading through Chicago or munching on Irish dishes, there will be a handful of festivities to choose from.
Here’s how you can take part:
The Chicago River dye
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Catch a glimpse of the Chicago River’s green glow when it’s dyed at 10 a.m. Saturday.
The city passed up the tradition in 2020, and then got caught green-handed when it dyed the river as a last-minute surprise in 2021.
Now, crowds can flock from Columbus Drive to Orleans Street to watch the event officially return.
After the river gets dyed, three parades will hit the streets for the first time in two years.
The St. Patrick’s Day parade in the Loop will spark an onslaught of celebrations at 12:15 p.m. Saturday.
Spectators can access the route beginning at 10 a.m. from Jackson Avenue or Ida B. Wells Drive.
The parade’s theme will be "Honoring Chicagoland's Essential Workers.”
Marchers will carry the celebrations into the next day with two more parade sightings.
The Northwest Side Irish Parade will start at noon Sunday from William J. Onahan School and follow along North Northwest Highway.
Chicago's historic South Side Irish St. Patrick's Day Parade also will kick off at noon Sunday and travel through Beverly and Morgan Park neighborhoods.
Chicago River boat tours
Wade through the river as it soaks in the green with a cruise.
Listen to festive music, dine for brunch and explore waterfront sightings with the various boating options, some of which include:
- St. Patrick's Day Clover Cruise
- St. Patrick's Day Brunch Cruise
- St. Patty's Day Green River Cruises
- St. Patrick's Day Cruise
Old St. Pat's Catholic Church will throw its Shamrock'n The Block party from noon to 6:30 p.m. Saturday in the West Loop.
The event will include activities fit for all ages with music performances, bagpipes, Irish dance, crafts and balloon artists.
Food will be available, along with a heated beer garden.
Gallagher Way is holding an event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
Located next to Wrigley Field, the event will feature Irish dancing with introductory lessons, live music and face painting among other activities.
Green Beer, Irish Coffee and specialty cocktails will be up for grabs for those over 21 years old.
The 23rd Chicago Irish Film Festival is showcasing various programs produced by Irish filmmakers throughout March 7-13.
Screenings are being held virtually, so viewers can enjoy the features, documentaries and shorts at home by purchasing tickets online.
Information on tickets and programs can be found here.
Bites and beers
Brave the brisk winds expected this weekend while indoors with a meal.
Charm’d pop-up bar appears once a year in Wrigleyville adorned with St. Patrick’s Day décor from wall to wall, multiple bars and festive food and drinks.
Reservations must be made in advance.
Some additional venues guaranteed to be in the holiday spirit include: