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Chicago St. Patrick's Day Events, Parade, Things to Do this Weekend

Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Events, Parade, Things to Do this Weekend

  |     |   Holidays, Local Events

Despite the fact that St. Patrick's Day is only a week away, the festivities in Chicago start considerably earlier. The Chicago River will be colored green for the first time since 2019, and a 65-year-old parade will take place downtown. After being postponed the previous two years owing to the coronavirus pandemic, both festivities will take place on Saturday. (Last year, a small group of people was lucky enough to come across a spontaneous river dyeing.)
The city anticipates a large audience for the festivities, so here's what you should know if you plan on going.
The dyeing of the Chicago River begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

Unless the occasion falls on a Saturday, the Chicago River is dyed green the Saturday before St. Patrick's Day, a tradition that will celebrate its 60th year in 2022.
The St. Patrick's Day Parade returns to downtown Saturday after a two-year break, and the city and bar owners are ready for thousands »
From Orleans Street to Columbus Drive, the dyeing process goes about three-quarters of a mile east. It now covers a far broader area than it did before COVID.
Are you enjoying the show from the privacy of your own home? 20 St. Patrick's Day promos at restaurants and bars in the Chicagoland area » Watch the live stream from WMAQ-Ch. 5.
The date is Saturday, March 12th.
The start time is 10 a.m. (The river takes around 45 minutes to cross).


The Downtown St. Patrick's Day Parade begins at 12:15 p.m. on Saturday.
There is about a two-hour delay between the completion of the dyeing of the Chicago River and the start of the parade, which is now in its 65th year.
The date is Saturday, March 12th.
The start time is 12:15 p.m.
Travel north on Columbus for about a half-mile to Monroe Street, starting at the crossroads of Columbus and Balbo drives.
Starting at 10 a.m., spectators can only access the parade route via Jackson Avenue and Ida B. Wells Drive.
All bags and handbags will be inspected at the procession route's entrances. Alcohol, coolers, open beverages, CamelBaks, and personal water bottles are not permitted.


Arriving in the city
Because of the expected large crowds and traffic jams, organizers recommend allowing extra time to travel to these events and use public transportation.
Even if riders are vaccinated, a government requirement mandates masks to be worn on public transit.
Just in time for St. Patrick's Day, Guinness 0 is now available in a non-alcoholic variant. We take a bite and then switch things around.
The Chicago Transit Authority is the city's public transit system.
Visit for information on bus and rail fares, schedules, and maps.
Rail lines: Take the Red Line to Lake, Monroe, or Jackson and exit at Lake, Monroe, or Jackson.
On the Blue Line, exit at the Jackson, Monroe, or Washington stations. Exit at State/Lake, 

On elevated lines, Washington/Wabash or Adams/Wabash stations are available (Brown, Green, Pink, or Orange).

Bus reroutes due to road closures: During the Chicago River dyeing, Wacker Drive will be closed from Orleans Street east to Columbus Drive (9-10 a.m.). Buses will be relocated to allow them to turn either north or south of the Chicago River.
For the St. Patrick's Day Parade, Columbus Drive will be closed from Monroe Street south to Roosevelt Road (12:30-3 p.m.).
Unlimited ride passes can be purchased through the Ventra app for $5 or $15 for one day or three days.
Metra Union Station and Ogilvie Transportation Center are served by six Metra lines. The BNSF Railway, Milwaukee North, and Milwaukee West lines all arrive and depart at Union Station, which is connected to LaSalle Street Station.

  • The Union Pacific North, Union Pacific Northwest, and Union Pacific West lines all pass through Ogilvie.
    The Rock Island line arrives and departs at LaSalle Street Station.
    Purchase tickets in advance using the Ventra app. Conductors will check tickets before boarding at downtown stations.
    Metra offers two different weekend-pass options. Unlimited rides cost $7 on Saturday and Sunday. Up to three children under the age of 11 can ride for free with each fare-paying adult. With the Ventra app, you can receive unlimited rides throughout the weekend for only $10.
    Visit for route timetables and maps. All Metra trains are alcohol-free on Saturday. On March 12th, bicycles are also prohibited.
    It is possible to reserve parking ahead of time.

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