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Chicago Shows Its Irish Roots

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Paint the Town Green

As if the Irish influence on Chicago were in any doubt, the city turns out for St. Patrick’s Day. The river runs green and buildings are lit with an emerald glow. There’s not one but three St. Paddy’s parades, including one of the largest in the world.

Festivities run throughout the month, with Irish music and dancing on March 8th and 24th. But the main event is the downtown parade on March 16th. Although the parade gets into full swing at noon, celebrations start early in the morning. If you get to the river by 9am, you’ll see the water transform in front of you as 40 pounds of green dye is poured in.

For the best view, take a river cruise. Otherwise, head to Columbus Avenue in Grant Park to watch the fun. Expect a lot of green beer—which we’re totally cool with.