St. Patty’s Parties in Chicago

Chicago, City Travel, Cruise, Dispatches from the Road, Ireland, Lost Girl of the Week, Parties, Festivals & Events, United States — By on March 17, 2009 at 7:00 am

by Molly Fergus

Apparently, the luck of the Irish is with us. We’re celebrating the greenest holiday of the year in Chicago – Jaunted’s top pick for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations and one of CNN’s five selections for Emerald Isle festivities this side of the pond.

Some revelers in Savannah, GA call blarney on the rankings (the town boasts the second largest celebration in the country) but as a Chicago native, I’m not surprised. For a few days each March, the Chicago River turns as green as our relish; parades draw hundreds of thousands; and corned beef sales might outnumber pizza orders.

If you’re in the area – or want to book a last-minute trip – I’ve got a few recommendations for a quintessential celebration. And of course, keep an eye out for the Wienermobile . We’re all decked out, too.

Irish American Heritage Center Irish Dance Chicago, a step-dancing concert, kicks off the center’s three-day celebration, which wraps up on the 17. In between, hit up the center for live music and food.

Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade More than 50 floats strut down Columbus Drive the Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day. Head downtown early to grab a spot for the 10 a.m. start.

South Side St. Patrick’s Day Parade This historically Irish neighborhood draws upwards of 300,000 people to its parade the Sunday before the feast. Need proof that it’s a big deal? Restaurants on the North Side shuttle customers South all day long (some for free!).

w Mid-parade, watch the Chicago River put on its St. Patrick’s Day finest. Mysteriously, the bags of orange dye transform the water into a perky shade of Kelly Green.

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