Bagpipes on the march

It is almost St. Patrick’s Day, that time of year when Chicago’s Irish heritage is put on display in dazzling, emerald green fashion. If you’re looking to get out and enjoy some of the festivities, consider these options. Note that some of these events are held in advance of March 17th, the official holiday.

Dyeing of the Chicago River

Chicago River at Columbus Drive – 399 N. Columbus Drive
Saturday, March 14th at 10:45 a.m.

If you have never seen it before, you won’t want to miss the famed tradition when the Chicago River is dyed fluorescent green. You can view the spectacle along the banks of the Chicago River between Columbus and Lake Shore Drive or by boat while dining on an Irish Brunch. St. Patrick’s Day Cruises will be offered at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. – catch the boat at Navy Pier.

54th Annual Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade

On Columbus Drive in Grant Park
Saturday, March 14th starting at noon

After checking out the neon green river (don’t worry… it’s only temporary), walk south through Millennium Park to Grant Park to catch Chicago’s 54th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Highlights include floats, Irish step dancers, bands, Clydesdale horses and more. The parade starts at Columbus and Balbo Drive (300 south), proceeding north on Columbus Drive to Monroe Street (100 south). It ends next to the Art Institute’s new Modern Wing.

Brunch at the Gage

Between the river and the parade, you might be tempted to stop in for brunch at The Gage, owned by the Lawless Family who hail from Galway, Ireland. Located at 24 S. Michigan Avenue just north of The Art Institute of Chicago, their brunch menu includes a “Traditional Irish Breakfast” with eggs over easy, rashers, black and white puddings, Irish sausages, tomato, beans, and toast, and “Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal Brûlée” with granola, berries, cream, brown sugar, and nuts. Having just enjoyed an amazing dinner at The Gage last week, I can personally offer rave reviews.

Other Festivities

Of course, other parades and countless pub bashes, dinners, and Irish themed events are planned for throughout the city and suburbs on March 17th. Check out this page on Citysearch and this page on Metromix for all the details. Have a specific gem you can recommend? Let us know with a comment!

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  • Jenny

    Absolutely NOTHING like St. Patty's Day in Chicago!

  • Jenny

    I forgot to mention that another great place for live Irish music and good food and beer is Fado's, on Grand. They have live music every week!

  • Thanks for the heads up about Fados, Jenny!

  • I really want to witness the dyeing of the Chicago River in person. My aunt who moved there told me that it's such an astonishing sight! Too bad she didn't get to take some pictures of the spectacle. 🙁

  • layria

    that is very cool