How to celebrate St. Patrick’s day in Chicago

Ana Turner, Staff Writer

When St. Patrick’s day is mentioned, a few things come to mind. Parades, Irish, and a whole lot of green. St. Patrick’s day is celebrated on March 17th of every year. It began as a religious feast day for the Patron Saint of Ireland, but it now has become an international holiday associated with the Irish and their traditions.

While St. Patrick’s day is celebrated all across the globe, nobody does St. Patrick’s day better than Chicago.

Chicago is known to be one of the best places to celebrate St. Patrick’s day because of its wide variety of things to do on the typically cold March day.

Chicago is most known for its annual dyeing the river green. Each year, on the weekend before St. Patrick’s day, 400,000 parade goers gather around the Chicago River in order to see it turn the famous leprechaun green.

Surprisingly, the annual dyeing of the river hasn’t always been for celebratory purposes. In the 1960’s, dye was used in order to detect where sewage was being dumped into the river. It wasn’t until a few years later, after the sewage problem had been cleared, that the idea to dye the river green came to light.

Nowadays, before the St. Patrick’s day parade, people gather around the river to watch 45 pounds of green dye be poured into the river turning it into an emerald green. This tradition is enjoyed by many. While Chicago’s river dyeing is arguably what it is known most for, Chicago has a plethora of fun things to do on St. Patrick’s day as well as the weekend before.

After the river is dyed, it is possible to attend not one, but three St. Patrick’s day parades. Chicago’s main parade is one of the largest in the country with over one million people in attendance. The parade takes place the weekend before St. Patrick’s day.

Another way to celebrate St. Patrick’s day is to attend Chicago’s St. Patrick’s day festival. This festival includes traditional irish food, dancing and live music and is an event for a person of any age to attend. This also takes place the weekend before St. Patrick’s day and is hosted after the parade at the American Heritage Center.
Chicago celebrates multiple holiday’s every year, but St. Patrick’s day is one of the more well known. The weekend before St. Patrick’s day and the day of, is filled with plenty of fun things to do. The festivities continue all week long, so the week of the holiday is one packed with  fun, food and a lot of green!