10 Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago

Numerous St. Patrick’s Day events and celebrations will paint all corners of the city green.

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Chicago River Dyeing
n9 a.m. March 17
nThousands attend the iconic annual Chicago River Dyeing and Downtown Parade. For more than 40 years, members of the Chicago Journeymen Plumbers Union have turned the river a bright emerald green for about five hours by dumping dye off the sides of boats. One of the best locations to watch the dyeing is at the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive.
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Downtown St. Patrick's Day Parade
nNoon March 17
nRain or shine, the parade steps off at Balbo and Columbus, proceeding north. Typically, if St. Patrick's Day doesn't fall on a Saturday, the parade is held the Saturday before the holiday. Fortunately this year's St. Patrick's Day is on a Saturday, so the parade will have maximum festivity.
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South Side Irish St. Patrick's Day Parade
nNoon March 11
nThose who wish to attend both the South Side and Downtown St. Patrick's Day parades are in luck, as they fall on different days. The 2018 South Side Irish St. Patrick's Day Parade steps off from 103rd and proceed along Western Avenue to 115th Street.
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South Side Irish Parade
Emerald Isle Mile Race
n11:30 a.m. March 11
nA half-hour before the South Side Irish Parade, up to 500 runners can partake in a one-mile race down Western Avenue. Every runner receives beads and green running sunglasses at the finish line. Register here.
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Northwest Side Irish Parade
nNoon March 11
nThe 15th annual Northwest Side Irish Parade starts at William J. Onahan School at 6634 W. Raven St. This year's parade will expand as a result of last year's success, according to the event's website. Proceeds from the parade go to community charities.
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St. Patrick's Festival at Irish American Heritage Center
n1 p.m.-12 a.m. March 17
nThis annual festival at the Irish American Heritage Center blends music, dance, food and activities all under one roof immediately following the Downtown Parade. Revelers wishing to celebrate the holiday can come early and stay late, beating the bar crowds and cold weather. Tickets can be purchased by calling 773-282-7035, ext. 10.
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St. Paddy's Day 5K/8K Run
n 9:30 a.m. March 17
nRunners can leap into St. Patrick's Day by participating in the 17th annual St. Paddy's Day 5K/8K run, formerly known as the Leprechaun Leap. Participants are encouraged to dress in all things green. Tickets are available here. Proceeds benefit the Greater Chicago Food Depository.
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Celia Johnson
Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle
n8:30 a.m. March 25
nThe Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle kicks off Chicago's running season with a fun 8K race and 2-mile walk through the city's Loop, starting and finishing in Grant Park. Register here.
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Chicago Shamrock Crawl
n8 a.m-1 p.m. March 17
nComplete with a breakfast buffet, a gift card to use along the crawl, a free t-shirt and 13 bars to enjoy in Wrigleyville, this could be considered the ultimate St. Patrick's Day bar crawl. The crawl schedule will be announced March 16. For tickets, visit here. All tickets include a selection of freebies.
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Paul Jones
Forever Green
n6:30 p.m.-11 p.m. March 9
nThe Young Irish Fellowship Club of Chicago is holding its 43rd annual Forever Green celebration at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St. It is one of the longest-running St. Patrick's Day celebrations in the city and is the largest such party in the city, according to the club's website.
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