Chicago River

St. Patrick's Day Chicago: What to Know About River Dyeing, Parades and Events

On Saturday, the city will host its annual St. Patrick's Day parade starting at 12:45 p.m. and will dye the Chicago River green in the morning to honor the holiday

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Chicagoans can expect to see green across the city this weekend as St. Patrick's Day celebrations take to the river, streets and businesses.

After two years of COVID-19 protocols keeping celebrations private, this weekend will be a big return for several parades and St. Patrick's Day festivities.

Here's how you can celebrate this weekend:

Chicago St. Patrick's Day Parade

On Saturday, the city will host its traditional St. Patrick's Day parade, which is one of the oldest and largest in the county, starting at 12:15 p.m.

Entry to the parade route will open at 10 a.m. and will only be allowed at Jackson Avenue and Ida B. Wells Drive.

Security will be checking all bags and purses, according to parade organizers. No coolers, alcohol, open beverages, camelbacks and personal water bottles will be allowed along the route.

The parade was canceled the past two years due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. In 2021, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot dyed the river green in a surprise move the morning of what would have been the parade.

The 2022 Chicago St. Patrick's Day Parade theme will be "Honoring Chicagoland's Essential Workers," organizers announced.

St. Patrick's Day Weekend Frigid Forecast

According to forecast models, an Arctic air mass is poised to move into the Chicago-area as the weekend gets underway, dropping wind chills between 5 and 15 degrees below zero early Saturday morning.

Temperatures are only expected to climb into the mid-20s in the city for highs on Saturday, far below their seasonal averages, and when coupled with the wind, things will be downright frigid for those celebrating the holiday.

Fortunately for Chicago-area residents, there is some relief on the horizon. On Sunday, windy conditions are once again expected, but high temperatures will be significantly warmer, climbing into the 50s across the area.

Chicago River Dyeing

The Chicago River will be dyed green Saturday morning in honor of St. Patrick's Day, starting at 10 a.m.

To watch the river dyeing, organizers recommend catching the event west of Columbus to east of Orleans.

Looking to watch the river dyeing from the comfort of your own home? NBC 5 Chicago will stream the event online and in the app.

St. Patrick's Day River Cruises

Some cruises, like aboard Navy Pier's Seadog, will give a way to watch officials dye the river green from the water.

Navy Pier's cruise will take off at 7:45 a.m. March 12 and will play Irish music as those on the boat enjoy a front row seat for river dying. A ticket also includes two beers or bottles of water.

Here are some other options for cruises:

South Side Irish Parade

Chicago's South Side Irish St. Patrick's Day Parade will also return this month after being canceled the past two years due to coronavirus concerns, organizers announced.

The parade will begin at noon Sunday and run on Western Avenue between 103rd and 115th Streets.

The historic parade, which began in 1979, will travel through Chicago's Beverly and Morgan Park neighborhoods on March 13 starting at noon.

Northwest Side Irish Parade

The Northwest Side Irish Parade, which has been a tradition for 19 years, will kick off Sunday at noon from William J. Onahan School. The parade will then run along North Northwest Highway.

After the event, Northwest Side Irish will host an after party at Zia's Social, according to organizers.

Schamrock'n The Block

Chicago's Old St. Pat's Catholic Church will host Shamrock'n The Block Saturday from noon to 6:30 p.m. with a heated tent and beer garden at Adams and DesPlaines Street in the city's West Loop neighborhood.

The event will feature live music, Irish dance, bagpipes, Irish food and activities, church officials noted.

Tickets cost $10 for general admission and $15 at the door. A $35 Pub Pass includes entry, a meal and free drinks.

Charm'd Pop-Up Bar

Charm'd pop-up Irish bar in Wrigleyville will be decked out in St. Patrick's Day decor, multiple bars and signature cocktails.

The spot will be serving all things St. Patrick's Day this weekend at 3505 N. Clark St.

St Patrick's on the Lake

Theater on the Lake in Lincoln Park will host a 12-hour St. Patrick's Day party, complete with Irish music, food, Guinness and performances.

The celebration will take place at 2401 N. Lake Shore Dr. at Fullerton Parkway. Tickets cost $5.

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