Travel Magazine

Chicago’s Ultimate St. Patrick’s Day Guide

By Urbanmatter Chicago @UMatterChicago

The holiday we go all out for

Everyone knows that Chicago does St. Patrick’s Day BIG, each and every year. So why waste any time? Here’s everything that’s going on so you can start planning your green-colored day of beer, music, and fun.

Dyeing of the River

st. patrick's day chicago

It’s a decades-long Chicago tradition to dye our iconic river a brilliant shade of green, and it’s a tradition that we’re recognized for around the nation.

This year’s dyeing of the Chicago River will take place at 9am on Saturday, March 11. Make sure to follow us that day because we’ll be there up close for the action!


st. patrick's day chicago
62nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade – Chicago’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade downtown is one of the largest in America, and it kicks off this year on Saturday, March 11 at noon. It starts on Balbo and proceeds down Columbus. If you can’t make it, it’ll be broadcasted on ABC7.

Northwest Side Irish Parade – This 14-year tradition takes place on Sunday, March 12, beginning at noon at 6634 West Raven Street and ending around 1:30pm on Harlem Avenue.

South Side Irish Parade – This neighborhood parade also takes place on Sunday, March 12 at noon, kicking off 11:30am on 103rd Street as it proceeds down Western Avenue to 115th Street.

Bar Crawls

st. patrick's day chicago

St. Paddy’s Day River Crawl – Perhaps the most popular St. Pat’s bar crawl, this one takes place in celebration of the parade, hitting up River North bars like Old Crow, Moe’s Cantina, and Rockit, from 8am – noon.

Chicago Shamrock Crawl – Don’t miss your chance to roam the bars of Wrigleyville in green! Visit Country Club, Merkle’s, Sluggers and more from 8am – 1pm. There’s even a breakfast buffet.

Irish Stroll Bar Crawl – One of the largest St. Pat’s bar crawls in the city gets you cover-free admission to some of the best bars in town, taking place on Saturday, March 11 and lasting from 2pm – 3am.

Dinner & Drinks

st. patrick's day chicago

Hilton Chicago: St. Patrick’s Day Dinner – The Irish Fellowship Club of Chicago celebrates the parade by hosting an Irish dinner with cocktails and Irish music on Friday, March 10 at 6pm.

Navy Pier: St. Patrick’s Day Lunch Cruise – Enjoy an Irish buffet and cash bar on a 75-minute tour of each branch of the green River.

Parlor Pizza Bar: St. Patrick’s Day Celebration – Get a great meal and drink package including domestic beers, call cocktails, and appetizers from 8am – 1pm on Saturday, March 11.

The Kerryman: Parade Day Party – Enjoy an awesome drink package including all drafts, well liquors, and bloody marys plus an Irish breakfast from 8am – 11am on Saturday, March 11.

Public House: Tap O’ the Morn – Celebrate with a package that includes 22oz drafts, well cocktails, and a passed Irish breakfast from 8am – noon on Saturday, March 11.

Stout and the Tap Room: Stout Patrick’s Day – Stout in River North and its second floor Tap Room are hosting packages including draft beer, call cocktails, and apps from 8am – 1pm on Saturday, March 11.

Concerts & Performances

st. patrick's day chicago

The Tossers at the Metro – The Celtic punk band from Chicago plays at 9pm on Friday, March 17.

Dervish and We Banjo 3 at Old Town School of Folk Music – Two Irish bands, one a traditional septet and the other with bluegrass influences, perform on Sunday, March 12 at 7pm.

Gaelic Storm at the House of Blues – The traditional Celtic band plays for two nights from Friday, March 10 to Saturday, March 11 at 7:30pm.

Anish and Trinity Irish Dancers at Navy Pier – A classic Irish band performs with Irish dancers from 2pm – 6pm at the Family Pavilion Stage.

Tony Kenny and Irish Dancers at Chicago Gaelic Park – A family event in Oak Forest invites you to enjoy Irish music and dancing on Saturday, March 11 at 8pm.

Runs & Walks

st. patrick's day chicago

Photo Credit: Shamrock 5k Beer Run

Leprechaun Leap 5k/8k – A festive run in Lincoln Park on Saturday, March 11 starting at 9:30am.

Shamrock 5k Beer Run – Head to Arlington Heights on Saturday, March 18 at 11am for a celebratory run that ends with a pint.

Get Lucky Half Marathon, 14k and 7k – This run at Soldier Field encourages costumes and takes place on Saturday, March 11 at 9am.

Emerald Isle Mile – In conjunction with the South Side Irish Parade, this run takes place down Western Avenue on Sunday, March 12 at 11:30am.

Cultural Events 

st. patrick's day chicago

Forever Green at the Chicago Cultural Center – On Friday, March 17 from 6:30pm – 11pm, meet other young Chicagoans celebrate Irish heritage with music, drinks, and dancing.

St. Patrick’s Day Festival at the Irish American Heritage Center – After you watch the parade, head to the IAHC for Irish crafts, gifts, music, and dancing from 1pm – midnight.

Chicago Irish Film Festival – From March 2 – 5, visit the Logan Theatre and the Gallery Theatre to watch the best films from Irish talent.

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