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It's not St. Patrick's Day in Chicago without a parade, and you can't have a procession in Grant Park without dyeing the Chicago River bright green. Kick off the Irish holiday by finding a spot on the Michigan Avenue bridge, where you can watch gallons of (eco-friendly) dye being poured into the river. Then, make your way over to Grant Park, where bagpipers, dancers and politicians make their way north on Columbus Avenue starting at noon. After the festivities are finished, stick around to enjoy everything that the Loop has to offer or make your way to one of the best Irish pubs in Chicago. We've gathered everything you need to know about the Chicago St. Patrick's Day Parade to make the greenest day of the year a little less hectic.
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When is the Chicago St. Patrick's Day Parade?
The Chicago St. Patrick's Day Parade begins at noon, but the festivities start with the dyeing of the Chicago River at 9am on Saturday, March 14. For optimal views of the fluorescent green water, head to the east side of the Michigan Avenue bridge, the west side of the Columbus Drive bridge, or find a spot on the Riverwalk between State Street and Columbus Drive.
Where is the Chicago St. Patrick's Day Parade?
This year's parade steps off from the intersection of Columbus and Balbo Drives at noon, continuing north on Columbus until concluding at Monroe Street. Barricades are set up along Columbus, and attendees typically arrive early to set up seats. The main viewing stand is located in front of Buckingham Fountain, where dancers and bands pause to wave to the crowd.
How do I get to the Chicago St. Patrick's Day Parade?
Take the Blue or Red Line and get off in the Loop. Then, walk to Columbus Avenue in Grant Park. You can also access the area via Orange, Pink, Green and Brown lines. Simply get off at Wabash and walk to Columbus Avenue from there.