For some, it might be a surprise to learn that St. Patrick was a real, historical figure and not just the patron saint of Irish Car Bombs, Guinness, and other March 17th related holiday activities. Saint Patrick changed the course of history for Ireland, but he also left a legacy worth celebrating every March. With that being said, where are the best St. Patrick’s Day celebrations?
Chicago, of course.
It’s generally accepted that St. Patrick’s Day may be a Bostonian venture as the celebration originated in the U.S. in 1776 in Boston (naturally), however, Chicago takes the cake, according to a recent holiday travel timeline by Treetopia. There’s nothing quite like St. Patrick’s day in Chicago. Come March, the pubs are crowded, Irish taverns have a waitlist, and the Chicago River turns a spectacular shade of green. From parades to a seemingly never-ending list of St. Patrick’s Day themed events, clearly Chicago is the place to celebrate the day of Ireland’s patron saint.
If you’re visiting Chicago for St. Patrick’s Day or you’re a local, there are more than enough Irish-themed events to attend. While some cities have a parade to commemorate the holiday, Chicago has not one but three St. Patrick’s Day parades. The Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade held downtown has been running for 62 years – and it just happens to be one of the largest parades in the country. Other fun and festive parades include the South Side Irish Parade and the Northwest Side Irish Parade.
It goes without saying that the dyeing of the Chicago River is one of the most exciting parts of the city’s celebration of Saint Patrick. Ever since 1961, Chicago has been dying her river green to commemorate the Irish holiday. The dye is environmentally safe which means no plants or animals were harmed in the making of these festivities.
This year, you can even take a lunchtime cruise to sightsee and eat some traditional Irish food. And don’t worry, there will be green beer for the adults on the cruise. See the Irish influences on Chicago during one of these Celtic-inspired cruises.
There’s no shortage of cultural events hosted for St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago either. The Irish American Heritage Center holds the St. Patrick’s Festival each year. This festival features Irish music and Irish dancing, food, and fun for all ages.
Even though many cities host St. Patrick’s day festivities, none come close to Chicago’s celebration.