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St. Patrick's Day Parade 2017
Photograph: Neal O'Bryan

All three Chicago St. Patrick’s Day parades are set to return in March

The Chicago River will also be dyed green as part of the Irish festivities.

Zach Long
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Zach Long
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Last year, the Chicago River was dyed green during an impromptu revival of the annual St. Patrick's Day tradition, but there hasn't been a parade of bagpipers, marching bands and dancers on the city's streets during the holiday since 2019. For the past two years the city has canceled annual St. Patrick's Day parades in the Loop as well as Chicago's South and Northwest Side to prevent crowds from gathering during the pandemic. But that won't be the case in 2022, with all three parade set to return to their usual routes.

Chicago's St. Pat's celebration will kick off on March 12 with the dyeing of the Chicago River, as the Chicago Journeymen Plumbers Union use buckets of dye to turn the river green. Organizers haven't announced the timing for the dyeing, but the spectacle should be followed by a parade in Grant Park. The procession typically marches up Columbus Drive, beginning at Balbo Drive and ending at Monroe Street.

Both the Northwest Side Irish Parade and the South Side Irish Parade will take place on March 13, with each procession stepping off at noon. The Northwest Side Irish Parade takes place in Norwood Park, beginning at the William J. Onahan School. The South Side Irish Parade marches through parts of Beverly and Morgan Park, going south from 103rd Street and Western Avenue.

Of course, all of these parades will take place the weekend before St. Patrick's Day, which falls on Thursday, March 17 this year. As long as cases continue to drop, we expect to see plenty of St. Pat's events and parties at local restaurant, bars and businesses this year.

After several years without parades, the city's slate of St. Patrick's Day processions should serve as a test run for even larger events this summer. That includes the long-delayed Chicago Pride Parade, which is set to return on June 26 and is just one of the many things we're looking forward to in 2022.

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