Chicago St. Patrick’s Day: Where to Watch the Dyeing of the Chicago River, Parade Information, and More

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You could make a movie about Chicago St. Patrick’s Day. From the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, dyeing of the Chicago River green, and of course, the morning to night drinking around the city (yes, we have a guide for that too), it’s the most anticipated holiday of the year in the city.

The past two years St. Patrick’s Day has looked different. In 2020, the weekend was palpably impacted by the impending shut down of the world that came a mere two days later. In 2021, the city announced it would not be holding a parade nor dyeing the river green until they surprised everyone by doing the latter. This year, we’re back. Officially.

If you’re heading towards downtown this weekend, here’s what you need to know about the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Chicago River activities.

Chicago River Dyeing and St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Saturday, March 12 | Downtown |

The Chicago River will be dyed green beginning at 10am, just west of the Columbus bridge to the East of Orleans before Wolf Point. Just a reminder though, during the dyeing of the river, all bridges will be closed to spectators. You can still utilize the Columbus, LaSalle, and Orleans bridges for pedestrian & vehicular traffic. The Riverwalk will close tonight at 11pm until 6am on Sunday, March 13th. Sorry, Saturday joggers, you’ll have to find a new route.

The much-anticipated parade will begin after and will step off at 12:15pm at the corner of Balbo and Columbus in Grant Park heading north to Monroe. You can watch the full parade live on TV on ABC 7 Chicago. We don’t recommend driving in the Loop after 8am on Saturday, as everything between Columbus, Wacker, and Roosevelt are sure to be a nightmare. Per the city, Streets within the boundary of Monroe Street between Michigan Avenue and DuSable Lake Shore Drive will be closed. DuSable Lake Shore Drive or State Street can be used as an alternate route. For additional details, visit chicagostpatricksdayparade.org.

Entry to the parade route along Columbus begins at 10 a.m. and will only be permitted at Jackson and Ida B. Wells Drive and all entry points will have security checkpoints where all purses and bags will be checked. Coolers, alcoholic beverages, camelbacks, or personal water bottles will not be permitted along the parade route.

Archer Avenue St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Saturday, March 12 | Midway |

The Archer Avenue parade steps off at noon at 53rd Street and South Oak Park and proceeds south on Oak Park to Archer Avenue; east on Archer to Narragansett; south on Narragansett to 5600 S. Narragansett. The parade is expected to conclude at 2 p.m. and will benefit “Get Behind the Vest,” a Chicago Police Memorial Fund effort, to provide bullet proof vest covers to police officers.

South Side Irish Parade

Sunday, March 13 | Beverley |

The parade that’s far more popular amongst Chicago’s rich Irish community is the South Side Irish Parade taking place on Sunday instead of Saturday in Beverley. It steps off at noon at 103rd and Western Avenue, marching south to 115th and Western Avenue. Parking restrictions in the area begin at 8 a.m. and will remain until 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, and parade goers should expect parking restrictions on both sides of the street from 103rd to 112th Streets along Western Avenue.

The staging area is located on Western Avenue from 99th to 103rd Streets and Bell to Maplewood Avenues. Street closures along the parade route as well as the staging area begin as early as 9 a.m. The parade is expected to end at 3 p.m., the disbanding area is located on Western Avenue from 115th to 119th Streets. For additional details, visit southsideirishparade.org.

Northwest Side Irish Parade

Sunday, March 13 | Norwood Park | 

The parade steps off at noon at Onahan School, at 6634 W. Raven St. proceeding south on Neola Avenue to Northwest Highway and north to Harlem Avenue in the Norwood Park neighborhood. Northwest Highway will be closed to vehicles at 9am. Parking restrictions are in effect along the route beginning at 7 a.m. and continue through 1:30 p.m. Both sides of the street on Neola, Raven, Northwest Highway, Normandy Avenue, Imlay, Neva, Palatine and Natoma along the route will be affected. For additional details, visit northwestsideirish.org.

All information pulled from City of Chicago’s official website.

Featured Image Credit: sam99929 on Pixabay

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