Monday, March 3, 2014

Chicago St. Patrick's Day

Come to Chicago for the Green Beer and Green River

With 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

The Saturday before March 17 is the biggest celebration of the season and the City of Chicago holds their annual parade that morning. Read more hereUpwards of 350,000+ people will attend the parade.  
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Hundreds of thousands more will pack every pub in the city, be sure to get there early, and see the Chicago River turn Green. The parade is a great start for a rookie to Chicago St. Pat's, but once you see the river and parade, get out quickly and start your own pub crawl throughout our beautiful city.

Chicago River turns Green, St. Patrick's Day Chicago
Read more here after the jump...

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 SideSince 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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    1. Oddly enough, I rarely check out the parade or party on St. Patty's Day. I might have to check it out this year.

    2. I was in Chicago that day but I only got there after the parade had gone by


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