How to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago


Chicago celebrates its biggest holiday this weekend, and the St. Patrick’s Day festivities last all month long. Whether you’re going green on March 17th or the weekend prior for the Downtown and South Side parades, there’s an event to go green on virtually every corner in town.

Check out my full St. Patrick’s Day event run-down over at Chicagoist: Where to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago. I scoured venues near the parade routes and river dyeing as well as classic Irish pubs from Edgewater to Beverly to collect their specials and Irish entertainment schedules in one place.


St. Patrick’s Day is an especially fond holiday for me. As a kid, we would get out of school and take our Irish grandma to watch the parade in downtown Cleveland before a big corned beef and cabbage dinner. When I got a little older, I’d hop on the Rapid Transit (RTA) to ride downtown with my friends and sneak into bars on Huron Rd. I started making the drive to celebrate in Chicago and visit friends before I even moved here.


These days, I’m up early enough to watch some of the Chicago River dyeing at 9 a.m. It’s crowded, but if Chicago’s weather is on your side it’s fun to get in on the action for an event that’s so elemental to city lore. From there, I meet up with my most Irish friends and their extended family at Paddy O’Fegans. They always have visits by the Chicago PD’s Pipes and Drums and the St. Patrick’s Day Queen (that’s a thing!).

Later in the afternoon, I’ll continue the bar crawl with a stop in the Loop at The Gage or Poag Mahone’s. Many establishments hand out free shots on St. Patty’s so don’t forget to eat! I’ll head north to grab a meal at Chief O’Neill‘s or O’Donovan’s. If you’re looking to round out the perfect St. Patrick’s Day, don’t miss the Jameson ice cream cone at Boiler Room.

Wishing everyone a very merry and safe St. Patrick’s Day. Sláinte!

this is what i really call a party now. #chicago #chicagoriver

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a hundred thousand welcomes. #chicago #westloop

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