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THE TOP 9 WAYS TO CELEBRATE ST. PATRICK'S DAY IN CHICAGO (IN 2022) - FROM A CHICAGOAN!

MAR 2022
05
THE TOP 9 WAYS TO CELEBRATE ST. PATRICK'S DAY IN CHICAGO (IN 2022) - FROM A CHICAGOAN!

After 2 years of cancellations and ‘remote’/’online’ events, Chicago’s tribute to the patron saint of the Irish is back with a bang!


“What is there to do on St’ Patrick’s Day”, and “How do I celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?” are probably going to be two of the most searched queries in Chicago this month.


And why not?


After 2 years of cancellations and remote events, St. Patrick’s Day is back with a bang in Chicago in 2022!


As proud Chicagoans, we at Fox in a Box Chicago Escape Room eagerly welcome the patron saint of the Irish people back in-person to Chicago, and reveal to you…

The top 9 ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago

  • The dyeing of the Chicago River

  • The Chicago St. Patrick’s Day parade

  • Go on a St. Patty’s Day river cruise

  • St. Patrick’s Fest at the Irish American Heritage Center

  • The South Side Irish Parade

  • The Northwest Side Irish Parade

  • St. Patrick’s Day at Gallagher Way

  • Shamrock Shuffle

  • Charm’d

The dyeing of the Chicago River

The Chicago River is dyed green by the plumbers' union for St. Patrick's Day.

Image by sam99929 from Pixabay.

Other cities paint their roads green for St. Patrick’s Day. We in Chicago dye our river green.


The first time the river was dyed green was in 1962, based on a suggestion by the plumbers’ union. And it’s become a Chicago St. Patrick’s tradition since.


Earlier the river used to remain green for months…now however the color starts to fade within hours.


So you better get to your favorite spot along the River (between State and Columbus) on time to catch a glimpse of the action.


Tip: If you’re thinking of capturing the event for your social media, I’d suggest grabbing a spot on one of the bridges, rather than along the sides of the river, as that would give you a more sweeping view of the event.


Dates: 10am on Saturday, March 12th. Arriving ahead of time would be a good idea.

The Chicago St. Patrick’s Day parade

The Chicago St. Paddy's Day parade is one of the largest in the country.

Image by Johnny Cohen on Unsplash.


Once the dyeing of the River is over, the action shifts to Grant Park for the Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade.


The parade begins a couple of hours after the dyeing, and will proceed down Columbus Drive, from Balboa Drive to Monroe Street.


This is one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the country.


And this year, the parade has a noble theme - honoring Chicago’s essential workers.


Be prepared to be caught up in a sea of green and a fervor of celebration as the parade steps forward, led by The Shannon Rovers Irish Pipe Band.


Note: There is a prime (VIP) viewing spot in front of the Buckingham Fountain, access to which has to be bought by the day before (that is, Friday, March 11th).


Dates: Begins at 12:15pm on Saturday, March 12th.


Website: Visit the website. To buy access to the VIP viewing spot, visit this webpage.

Go on a St. Patty’s Day river cruise

A Chicago River cruise is the best vantage point to catch all the St. Patty's Day action!

Image by Benjamin Suter on Unsplash.


If you want a really exclusive experience, including some of the best views possible of the dyeing of the river and the parade, book a St. Patty’s Day river cruise for yourself.


Companies like City Cruises and Cruise Chicago offer special St. Patrick’s Day cruise programs that include a complete cruise up the river during the festivities, themed food and drinks, and so on.  


Dates: Saturday, March 12th.

St. Patrick’s Fest at the Irish American Heritage Center

As they proclaim on their website, the Irish American Heritage Center’s St. Patty’s Day Fest includes the best of everything - the best of Irish music, the best of Irish dance, and the best of Irish food and drink.


PLUS, we’ve heard they’re going to have a book sale at their library, and an arts and craft fair too!


The Heritage Center event takes place right after the dyeing of the river and the Chicago parade…and it’s an hour’s cab drive from those events, tops.


Dates: Saturday, March 12th, from 1pm to 11:30pm.


Website: Visit the website.

The South Side Irish Parade

The South Side parade is a more homegrown, family friendly event.

Image by Lisa Larsen from Pixabay.


The second of the three St. Patrick’s Day parades in Chicago, the South Side Irish Parade takes place on the day AFTER the Chicago Parade.


While the Chicago parade has a longer and (somewhat more difficult) past, the South Side parade began in 1979 out of the efforts of George Hendry and Pat Coakley, two friends and neighbors from the South Side.


That’s why this is generally considered a homegrown and more family-friendly affair.


The parade takes place on Western Avenue from 103rd Street to 115th Street, in Beverly, one of Chicago’s longest standing Irish neighborhoods.


You can get yourself a ‘parade passport’ that’ll entitle you to exclusive deals at some businesses along the parade route.


Dates: 12pm to 3pm on Sunday, March 13th.


Website: Visit the website.

The Northwest Side Irish Parade

The Northwest Side parade is a community event you'll enjoy!

Image by Lisa Larsen from Pixabay.


The third parade we have for St. Patty’s Day, the Northwest Side parade begins at William J. Onahan School and winds through Neola Avenue, crossing a couple of highways and finally ends at Harlem Avenue.


This is more of a community event celebrating Irish life and values.


And there’s an official afterparty (ticketed entry) including food and drinks (a combination of Irish fare like corned beef and cabbage and American food like chicken wings, and beer), a musical performance by Emerald Society Pipes and Drums, dances and so on.


You can take your children along, for age-appropriate activities like face painting, balloon play and so on.


Dates: Kicks off at 12pm on Sunday, March 13th. Assembly starts a couple of hours earlier, at 10pm.


Website: Visit the website.

St. Patrick’s Day at Gallagher Way

Head out to Gallagher Way on March 13th for a family-friendly party with music, face-painting, balloon artists, Irish dance lessons, green beer, Irish coffee and a whole lot more!


Dates: 11am to 3pm on Sunday, March 13th.


Website: Visit the website.

Shamrock Shuffle

Are you among those who don’t like St. Paddy’s Day ending so quickly?


Then here’s an event that should get you excited…


On March 20th, a full week after the St. Patrick’s Day parades, Grant Park and the Loop will be swept by a wave of shamrock green…


Courtesy the Shamrock Shuffle, a decades old event that includes a sprint through the Loop, beginning and ending at Grant Park. Everyone is expected to be in their best Irish green.


Apart from a rekindling of the St. Patrick’s Day spirit, the event stands for the city awakening from its winter slumber and sprinting towards a lively spring.


Dates: Sunday, March 20th.


Website: Visit the website.

Charm’d

An Irish popup bar experience unlike anything you've sampled before!

Image by magicksupply from Pixabay.


A Wrigleyville St. Paddy’s Day event, Charm’d is the Deuce's Major League Bar's Irish popup bar.


A ‘multi-room, multi-level’ event full of mischief, merriment, and multiple bars, this is one Irish party in Chicago that you won’t forget in a hurry.


The best part? It’s going on right now, and will keep going till the final Sunday this month.


Dates: Till Sunday, March 27th.


Website: Visit the website.

Looking forward to St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago?