Saint Patrick’s Day Parade and Events in Chicago

  • They go big in Chicago for Saint Patrick’s Day by dying the river green.
It takes more than 45 pounds of environmentally safe vegetable dye to turn the Chicago River green each Saint Patrick’s Day.

It will happen once again this March 17, precisely at 9 a.m., when the Chicago Journeymen Plumbers union dumps a secret concoction off the sides of their boats—a tradition that’s been going strong since 1962.

Irish-Americans are the largest ethnic group in Chicago but—as the saying goes—everyone is Irish on Saint Patrick’s Day. Here’s how they celebrate:

2018 Saint Patrick’s Day Parade

The parade starts at noon on March 17 at the corner of Balboa Street and Columbus Drive. Wear green, dress warm (probably), and enjoy the three-hour extravaganza—one of the largest Saint Patrick’s Day parades in the nation.

Chief O’Neill’s Pub & Restaurant

Voted one of the top 10 Irish pubs in the world by readers of Ireland of the Welcomes, this pub pulls out all the stops on March 17. The day launches at 8:30 a.m. with an Irish breakfast buffet. Then, there’s free Irish dancing lessons for kids at 10 a.m., face-painting, and balloon animals. Come back after the parade for the lunch/dinner buffet, which includes corned beef and cabbage, curry chips, fish and chips, bangers and mash, Irish bread, and more.

Saint Patrick’s Festival

Held annually at the Irish American Heritage Center, this festival starts at 1 p.m. and winds down at midnight. It features traditional and contemporary Irish music, dance, food and drink for purchase, children’s activities and an arts and craft fair, with vendors selling Irish gifts.

Saint Patrick’s Booze Cruise

The only thing better than seeing the Chicago River turn green is actually being on the river when it’s green. Chicago Party Boat is offering cruises all day long, featuring music, dancing and—yes—plenty of booze.

StorageMart and Saint Patrick’s Day in Chicago

At StorageMart, we’re proud to be a part of the communities we serve and, like everyone else, we’re always Irish one day a year.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

About Sarah Little

Sarah Little, Marketing Director at StorageMart, holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration. She serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors for the Central Missouri Foster Care & Adoption Association, a non-profit group dedicated to improving the lives of children.

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