St. Patrick’s Day events Chicago.
It’s that time of year again for green rivers and green beer. Day drinking and morning drinking.
***Update 3/12/19: Metra will be running extra trains Sat. and Sun. Metra recommends purchasing tickets prior to boarding this weekend. (Use the Ventra app). Also Metra riders are asked not to bring backpacks or water bottles on trains all weekend, and alcohol will be banned on all trains Saturday and on all Rock Island trains Sunday. The CTA will be running extra trains on Sat. Be careful out there!***
***See March 15 updates in RED below***
Here are the main St. Patrick’s Day events in Chicago:
The dyeing will be on Saturday, March 16 at 9:00am on the Chicago River from Columbus Drive to State Street. It can be best viewed from the following bridges – Columbus, Michigan Ave., Wabash and State Street. Last year there was a rumor that the police were not allowing people to stand on the bridges. If that’s true you can just stand along upper Wacker Drive
or go down to the Riverwalk. The dyeing is essentially four guys from the plumbers union in two small boats zigzagging down the river pouring in dye.
The Riverwalk will not be open until 11AM on March 16 but you can watch from upper Wacker Drive on the south side of the river.
Public access after 11 a.m. will be at the following locations:
- Franklin Street
- LaSalle Street
- Dearborn Street
- East Side of State Street
Several safety measures are in effect for the safety of everyone entering the Riverwalk:
- Event security will be searching all bags and limiting all outside beverages to 8oz upon entry.
- Alcoholic beverages cannot be brought inside.
- All the underbridge connections will be closed to the public throughout the day. Those wishing to move between sections of the Riverwalk must exit and re-enter at another entry point.
Saturday, March 16, 2019 noon. Kicks off on Columbus Drive at Balbo and proceeds north to Monroe. March with 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly or the Irish American Heritage Center. More info here. The Parade will be broadcast live on ABC-Channel 7.
***Update March 15, 2019 PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THE CHICAGO POLICE & PARADE ORGANIZERS PLAN A STEPPED UP SECURITY PROCESS ON PARADE DAY TO ENSURE A SAFE AND FAMILY- FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENT.
ENTRY TO THE PARADE ROUTE OPENS AT 9AM AND WILL ONLY BE PERMITTED AT JACKSON Drive AND IDA B. WELLS (formerly Congress Blvd.)
SECURITY CHECKPOINTS WILL BE SET UP FOR ENTRY TO THE PARADE ROUTE – SECURITY WILL BE CHECKING ALL BAGS AND PURSES. COOLERS, ALCOHOL OR OPEN BEVERAGES WILL NOT BE ALLOWED INTO OR ALONG THE PARADE ROUTE.***
Sunday, March 17, 2019 noon. The parade kicks off at Onahan School at 6634 W Raven Street and Neola Avenue south to Northwest Highway and north to Harlem. To get to the parade from Downtown take the Metra UP-Northwest line and get off at Norwood Park. Walk east on Raven to get to the starting point of the parade.
You can march with the Irish American Heritage Center even if you’re not a member. The IAHC participates in both the Downtown and Northwest side Irish parades. If you, your friends and family plan to join either of the parades, call 773-282-7035, ext. 13 with your family name, which parade (Downtown or Northwest Side) and how many people are joining.
At the Northwest side parade the IAHC float will be staged near Onahan School at 6634 W Raven Street, at the back of the school. Marchers should gather no later than 11:30am at the back of the school.
Seating on the float in both parades is limited and for children only and IAHC members receive first preference. They ask all adults to walk alongside the float. The parade route is .8 of a mile.
The South Side Irish Parade will be on March 17, 2019 at noon. The parade starts at 103rd and Western Avenue and heads south to 115th Street. No opportunities to march in this parade. The parade route is 1.5 miles. To get to there from Downtown take the Metra Rock Island line and get off at 103rd Street-Beverly Hills and walk west on 103rd. At the end of the parade you will be at 115th Street. The closest Metra station is 115th-Morgan Park. I haven’t been to this parade in twenty years but I know we took the train back from Beverly (107th-Beverly Hills) because we boozed it up at the Cork and Kerry (which was complete insanity) on Western at 106th . Last year Metra ran extra trains stopping at 103rd and 111th in Beverly. This parade was cancelled in 2009 and 2010 because of prior bad behavior. It’s now heavily policed and has a strict no drinking policy. You will be arrested if caught with open alcohol.
I’ve never heard of this parade in the Garfield Ridge neighborhood. Per the City the Archer Avenue Parade continues to attract more participants to the event. Parade floats and participants will assemble at 11:00 a.m. at 5300 South Oak Park Avenue. The St. Patrick’s Day Parade steps off at noon on Oak Park Avenue and proceeds from 5400 S. Oak Park to Archer Avenue; east on Archer to Narragansett; south on Narragansett to 5600 S. Narragansett. This parade is .8 of a mile.
Transportation from Metra Stations to Chicago River or Parade:
Chicago Water Taxi will be running on Saturday March 16 for the St. Patrick’s Day Celebration and River Dyeing festival in downtown Chicago.
Water Taxis will begin departing Ogilvie/Union (West Loop) at 8:00am heading towards Michigan Avenue for the river dyeing which will take place at 9:00am. ST PATS SCHEDULE HERE
Water Taxis will continue to operate on a 15 minute loop until 6:15pm
Docks that will be served will include:
– Michigan Avenue
– Riverwalk Clark Street
– Ogilvie/Union (West Loop)
Weekend Pricing will be in affect:
$6.00 One way ticket ($2.50 seniors/ADA)
$10.00 All day Access Pass Not available
Metra is offering extra service on six rail lines. On Saturday you can take advantage of Metra’s $10 Weekend Pass. Offering unlimited rides, the pass can be purchased on the train or via the Ventra app.
Click here for complete fare and schedule information.
- Buses serving Union Station: 151 get off at Dearborn and Adams for Parade or get off at Washington and Wabash Loop Link stop and walk east to Columbus, 60 (get off at Washington and Wabash Loop Link stop and walk north on Michigan to River (for the dyeing) or south to Monroe and then east to Columbus). 126 to Michigan Avenue and walk east to Columbus.
- Buses serving Ogilvie Transportation Center: 20, 56 or 60 (get off at Washington and Wabash Loop Link stop and walk north on Michigan to River (for dyeing) or south to Monroe and then east to Columbus)
- Uber and Lyft have preferred pick-up locations from Ogilvie Transportation Center and Union Station.
- Take the Water Taxi. Info above.
Ogilvie Transportation Center Rideshare location on Madison Street between Canal Street and Clinton Street.
Union Station Rideshare location on Jackson Boulevard east.
Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N Knox Ave., Chicago, IL 773.282.7035.
Tickets are $12 for adults ($15 after 3/14) and children 12 and under are free. Purchase tickets
Annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration. The day-long celebration in the Fifth Province features live music, dance, food and drink for purchase and face painting for children. March 16, 2019 1PM-12am.
Free St. Patrick Day celebration at Gallagher Way
When: Sunday, March 17, 2019 11AM-3:00PM
Where: Gallagher Way, 3637 N Clark Street outside Wrigley Field
Attend a family-friendly St. Patrick’s Day celebration at Gallagher Way. The Old Town School of Folk Music will perform live, traditional Irish music and offer two basic Irish Dance lessons throughout the day. The Trinity Irish Dancers will perform live at 2:30 p.m. There will be a balloon artist, arts & crafts for the kids, lawn games, a festive face painter, and Irish beverages for the adults to enjoy.