It’s often said that on St. Patrick’s Day — or in this case, March 12 when the celebrations take place here — everyone in Chicago is Irish, or Chi-rish as some like to point out. If you’re feeling the spirit, don your best Kelly green and head out. People get the party started early in Chicago — we’re talking like 8 a.m. Case in point: the St. Paddy’s Day River Crawl where you can hit seven bars starting at Boss Bar and making your way to Social 25 with a bunch in between. Get drinks, some grub and try to control yourself.
Or be a bit more civilized and head to the Chicago River to watch it get dyed green. That happens at 9 a.m. and the best viewing areas are on the bridges between Michigan and Columbus or along Wacker Drive. Truth be told, you can really hang out almost anywhere along the river. Just know it’ll be crowded so get there early and bundle up. The official parade begins at noon on March 12 and the route kicks off at the corner of Columbus and Balbo and runs north to Monroe.
If you really want to feel the true spirit of the Irish in Chicago, head south to Beverly where the South Side Irish Parade kicks off on Sunday March 13 at noon at 103rd Street and runs down Western to 115th. Beverly (along with Bridgeport) is the epicenter of Irish life in Chicago. Just know this family-friendly event has a zero tolerance policy (even though people manage to get their drink on!).