Come to Chicago for the Green Beer and Green RiverWith certainty, nearly 100% of Chicagoans will tell you the biggest celebration each year is the Saturday before St. Patrick's Day. If they tell you otherwise, they're wrong. Half a million people fill the streets and pubs in Chicago each year, creating one of the hugest parties I've ever seen. Read more below, and avoid acting like a rookie at the event.
|St. Patrick's Day Parade Chicago|
St. Patrick's Day Parade
|Chicago River turns Green, St. Patrick's Day Chicago|
What to Expect?
- Weather - March weather in Chicago can be quite tricky, prepare for everything. Two years ago it was in the 70s, but it could be rainy and in the 40s as well.
- Start Drinking Early - Nearly everyone starts drinking well before noon, so join in the fun. St. Patrick's Day Saturday is a marathon, not a sprint. I have seen many people passed out by noon.
- Favorite Bars - Chicago features so many great irish pubs, within a variety of amazing neighborhoods. Aside from the list above, here are some of my favorites: Corcorans in Old Town, River Shannon in Lincoln Park, Mystic Celt in Lakeview and Mahoney's in Noble Square.
- Cost - Expect that prices are going to be a little inflated, hotels are always pricey, save money by taking the El Train whenever possible. That said, you will probably save a bit of cash if you pre-game well, and drink cheap light beer all day. Geronimo!
- Avoid!!! - Starting Trouble, Not Wearing Green and Late Night beforehand. Police are everywhere, and getting in fights is just poor form. Embrace the culture, wear green, everyone is Irish on this day, you will look stupid if you go against the grain. Finally, get a good night's rest, it's a long day, closing down the bars on Friday night is never a good idea (but it always happens).
|Mahoney's 11am, St. Patrick's Saturday|
Two Other HugeParty St. Pat's Options
Forest Park - Go straight west on Madison Avenue the Saturday before Chicago's celebration and you will find a hidden treasure in the west suburb of Forest Park, easily accessible by the Blue Line. This St. Patrick's Day celebration features a parade and a plethora of awesome bars. My personal favorite smash-up bars are Doc Ryan's and Fat Duck.
South Side - Since 1979, this parade has been held near Washtenaw and Talman streets. Eventually, in 2009, it was canceled because it became an absolutely crazy party. After a two-year absence, the parade returned in 2012. Still attended by 150,000+ people, this parade is not one to miss, generally held the Sunday before St. Patrick's Day.
St. Patrick's Day Quote"If you're enough lucky to be Irish, you're lucky enough!" -Irish Saying
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