Chicago doesn’t wait until March 17 to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, which is why the Chicago River dyeing and downtown parade are taking place Saturday.
The city is expecting an influx of people to celebrate the events, so here’s what you need to know if you plan to experience them in person.
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Saturday will be cloudy and windy with temperatures nearly steady in the mid-30s. Snow showers are expected Saturday night with about 1 inch of snow possible.
Expect occasional snow showers Sunday with a high in the mid- to upper 30s.
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The dyeing process starts at 10 a.m. Saturday and stretches from Orleans Street almost three-quarters of a mile east to Columbus Drive. It’s a much wider area than in pre-COVID-19 years.
Watching from home? Tune into WMAQ-Ch. 5′s livestream.
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- Date: Saturday, March 11
- Start time: 10 a.m. (It takes about 45 minutes for the river to turn completely green.)
- Where to watch: Along Upper Wacker Drive.
- Bridges: Closed to spectators during river dyeing except for Orleans Street and Columbus and LaSalle drives, which will remain open to vehicles and pedestrians.
- Chicago Riverwalk: Closes at 11 p.m. Friday, March 10, and will reopen at 6 a.m. Sunday, March 12.
There is about a two-hour gap between when dyeing of the Chicago River is completed and the parade — which is in its 66th year — begins.
Watching from home? Tune into WLS-Ch. 7′s livestream.
- Date: Saturday, March 11
- Start time: 12:30 p.m.
- Stepping off from: The corner of Columbus and Balbo drives and heading north on Columbus about a half-mile to Monroe Street.
- Entry: Starting at 11 a.m., spectators can only access the parade route via Jackson Boulevard and Ida B. Wells Drive. Leave coolers, alcoholic beverages and water bottles at home.
- Road closures: Starting at 8 a.m., Columbus Drive will be closed to vehicles from Wacker Drive south to Roosevelt Road.
- Security: All bags and purses will be checked at entrances to the parade route. No alcohol, coolers, open beverages, CamelBaks or personal water bottles are allowed.
Details for other St. Patrick’s Day parades in Chicago:
- Archer Avenue St. Patrick’s Day Parade: Starts at noon Saturday at the intersection of 53rd Street and Oak Park Avenue, then proceeds south on Oak Park to Archer Avenue, then east on Archer to Narragansett Avenue before ending in the 5600 block of South Narragansett.
- Northwest Side Irish Parade: Starts at noon Sunday at 6634 W. Raven St. (outside William J. Onahan Elementary School), then proceeds south on Neola Avenue to Northwest Highway, then north on Northwest Highway to Harlem Avenue.
- South Side Irish Parade: Starts at noon Sunday at the intersection of 103rd Street and Western Avenue, then proceeds south on Western to 115th Street.