Each year hundreds of thousands of Chicagoans flock downtown to celebrate the city’s favorite holiday: St. Patrick’s Day. Whether it be the annual downtown St. Patrick’s Day parade or the festive South Side Irish parade, families and friends congregate to celebrate the Irish holiday with fervor. Here’s all of the information you need if you plan on heading downtown this weekend for any one of Chicago’s major parade festivities!
OK imagine it’s Saturday morning and you’re standing on Wacker Dr. having just finished watching the river turn from green to a different shade of green. You’re looking for your next stop. Maybe you’re not quite ready for the bar yet. Fortunately for you, one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the entire United States begins at 12:30pm just six blocks south of where you are right now.
Continue your St. Patrick’s Day activities in Grant Park for the annual parade stepping off just after 12 noon on Columbus Drive. The procession will start on Balbo Drive and head north up Columbus with a large viewing stand right at Buckingham Fountain. It’s going to be chaotic down there, considering the 2023 route and the timing of the river dyeing, you may want to rub yourself a four leaf clover before heading down. To kill two birds with one stone and catch both, try situating yourself just off the east side of Michigan Avenue for the river dyeing and then make your way up to the south end of the parade route at Columbus and Monroe.
South Side Irish Parade
The party continues on Sunday as the South Side plays host to its annual St. Patrick’s Day parade, celebrating the holiday in one of Chicago’s richest Irish neighborhoods. This years parade route begins by heading north on Western Ave at 103rd St. and ends at 115th St on Sunday March 12th at noon. The South Side Irish Parade has always been a deeply rich tradition in the Beverley community. It loudly boasts bagpipes and traditional Irish clothing, politicians from around the city, and families of all sizes are welcome to enjoy the celebration of Irish heritage. However, of note, this year alcohol is prohibited and the old open container laws will be enforced during the parade.