Things to Do

Planning the Perfect St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago:

Get ready to celebrate Patty’s Day the right way in 2023!

Chicago does St. Patrick’s Day right, every single time. As the river turns green and people get ready for the Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade, there’s multiple ways to celebrate all around town. From Bar Crawls to getting that perfect shot for all your socials, we’re going green all week long. Here’s an ultimate guide to the perfect day, so get frolicking! 

Chicago River

Traditions, the true way to get into any occasion the right way. There is nothing else that signifies St. Patrick’s Day being around the corner, better than the color green popping up all across the city. Bringing back a tradition for 2023, the Chicago River will be dyed green, really kicking off festivities for the week. A tradition that was started in the 1960s, the green dye is  “1000 percent harmless”, as it is plant based according to a team member of the people dedicated to the task. You can really get into the spirit as you witness the green river from Orleans, Columbus and LaSalle bridges before kickstarting Patty’s Day shenanigans.   

The Parade

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade, always guaranteeing the unforgettable memories we make on the occasion. As the songs of bagpipers fill the skies around The Loop, Irish Dancers and Marching Bands will take to the roads for a day filled with festivities. As the main viewing stand is set up near Buckingham Fountain, the crowd can enjoy the show in all its glory as the dancers and bands take a moment to pause and wave. An event always held on a Saturday before Patty’s Day (unless of course it falls on a Saturday), the 2023 Parade held on March 11th is preceded by the dyeing of the river.  

Cruises and Bar Crawls:

If the green river and parade doesn’t do it for you, we’ve got way MORE events happening all around Chicago. If you’re in the mood for a rather chill afternoon, check out the Green River Cruise by 312 Cruises as you take a ride through the Green River, with some cocktails and music on deck backdropped with amazing skyline views. An Irish way to go about celebrating the day would be through one of the several Bar Crawls organized all around the city. Of course you could go on a personal bar crawl but we suggest one organized by: Parkway Bank, Wrigleyville, or the one at Hubbard Inn


Irish Pubs, where most people tend to forget unforgettable nights. With an abundance of Irish immigrants residing in the beautiful Windy City, there have been loads of authentic Irish pubs popping up all around the city. While you don’t need to wait for St. Patrick’s Day to check these spots out, the vibes for the occasion with the special menus and beers on tap, only add to the aesthetic they’ve got! So put on something green, get some mates and get ready to check these wonderful Irish Pubs out: 

1. O'Shaughnessy's Public House

2. The Atlantic Bar and Grill

3. The Kerryman

4. Fado

5. Lady Gregory’s

Written by Jason Shepherd, Beverage Trade Network.

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