Chicagoans are known for really celebrating the Irish Holiday. One of Chicago’s oldest traditions is the dying of the river. Every year, 45 pounds of eco-friendly vegetable dye is poured into the Chicago River. At first glance the surface is orange and tradition has it that a little leprechaun magic turns it green. If you’re planning to come downtown for the festivities, get here early! The best places to see the river being died are the east side of the Michigan Avenue Bridge, the west side of the Columbus Drive Bridge and all along the banks of the Chicago Riverwalk between Michigan and Columbus.
Chicago is home to one of the largest St Patrick’s Day parades in the country; go big or go home right? The parade begins at Columbus Drive and moves north through Grant Park and lasts nearly three hours, beginning at Balbo and ending at Monroe Drive.
After all this, it’s time to eat and drink! Chicago has several Irish Pubs The Kerryman, Poag Mahone’s, Timothy O’Tooles, Fado Irish Pub, Kitty O’Shea’s and Emerald Loop. Stop in grab a green beer or some green river soda and corned beef and cabbage.
But the fun doesn’t stop there. Chicago boat tours are up and running and they will take you along the Chicago River giving you a nice history lesson on Chicago and its Irish ways!
Here are a couple of boat tour suggestions for St. Patrick’s Day Weekend!
Shoreline Sightseeing- This tour is 90 minutes long and will explore all the branches of the river. You’ll enjoy a traditional Irish buffet and toast the day with a Guinness or Irish coffee.
Saturday March 15 10am and 2pm; $49 per person
Spirit of Chicago – 2.5 hour boat ride on the beautiful Lake Michigan all while enjoying a grand buffet, music and dancing.
Saturday March 15th at 3pm; tickets $49.90 per adult, $29.96 per child