St. Patrick’s Day festivities will draw hundreds of thousands of people downtown on Saturday morning, but the city is making some major changes to their security procedures to keep party-goers safe.
The annual dyeing of the Chicago River will be a bit different this year, as the Riverwalk will be closed until 11 a.m. Those wanting to see the event can still line up along Wacker Drive, as well as Michigan Avenue and Columbus Drive, but space will be a bit more limited than in previous years.
The security in downtown will be even more strict around the parade route, as there will only be two points of entry around Grant Park. Entry points will be limited to Ida B. Wells Drive and Jackson Boulevard, and all purses and bags will be checked.
Additionally, coolers and alcohol will not be allowed into the area.
“Additional private security, additional police security, and additional city workers will be present on the Riverwalk,” OEMC executive Rich Guidice said.
The CTA will also be tightening restrictions, adding more security to train platforms and banning alcohol consumption on trains and buses. The agency is even advising riders to leave backpacks and bottles of water at home.
The river dyeing will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday morning, and the downtown St. Patrick’s Day parade will follow at noon.