Chicago takes St. Patrick’s Day very seriously. The Chicago River get dyed bright green, wewatch parades, and the bars open up far earlier than they probably should. By 3pm about 75% of the city’s adult population is drunk. It is a rowdy, but very fun time. In Chicago we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day the weekend before (or of) St. Patrick’s Day, and there are lots of activities. Here is my rundown of things to do this weekend:
- Watch as the Chicago River is turned green. This requires getting up on the early side since the ceremony takes place at 9:30am. I recommend getting there by at least 9 since the river will be packed with people. After the river is green, there aren’t many bars in the area, so if you want to grab a drink, you will probably need to head to another part of the city. If you want to stay in the loop area – try Howells and Hood since it is a large bar with the biggest draft beer selection in the city. Curious to know why the river is dyed green? Chicago magazine explains it here.
- Want to burn off some calories before you have a pint? Join the St. Patty’s Day 5k/8k Road Race. Then join the after party at John Barleycorn.
- Join a pub crawl, City Swarm is hosting one between Irish Pubs that includes transportation. Or start your own pub crawl, but expect every Irish pub to be filled to capacity, with waits at the door. My suggestion is to pick an area with several bars and stay put. End near public transportation because getting a cab on a cold St. Patrick’s Day is a nightmare.
- Go to the Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade which starts at noon and runs along Columbus Avenue from Balbo to Buckingham Fountain.
- Enjoy a traditional Irish meal at a Chicago restaurant- Bellwether, City Dough, Commonweath Tavern, Lottie’s Pub, and The Pony are all serving up Corned Beef this weekend.
- The South Side Irish Parade starts at noon and runs along Western Avenue from 103rd to 115th. I went once with friends, but we made so many stops for food, beer, and bathroom breaks that the parade had ended by the time we got there.
- Pick up a Green Velvet Cupcake at Sprinkles in the Gold Coast. These special cupcakes are only made once a year on St. Patrick’s Day – but Windy City Blogger Collective Members got a special batch last week, and I can tell you that these cupcakes are not to be missed. (photo via Sprinkles)
And in case you need a hangover cure, you can check this post.
image of the green Chicago River from ChicagoNow
Saturday 15th of March 2014
Great round-up of things to do! I am still figuring out what my plans are tomorrow, whoops! So this was just what I needed. :)