St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago: A Guide for the Best Things to do on St. Patrick’s Day 2013 in Chicago by

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St. Patrick’s Day is one of the best times of the year to visit Chicago. Get ready for the Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2013, a day of drinking and the bright green Chicago River to get everyone feeling festive.

St. Patrick's Day in Chicago

One of the most anticipated events of the year in Chicago is just around the corner, and this St. Patrick’s Day is guaranteed to be better than ever before. St. Patrick’s Day parties in Chicago kick off Friday night and don’t stop until the wee hours of Monday morning. Chicago starts off Saturday morning with the dying of the river, which you can watch from the bridge or get an even better view on a boat in Chicago. Get there early to find a good spot for the parade, then go along with the crowds to all of the bars, Chicago concerts and the St. Patrick’s Day events that are happening all weekend long.

Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Events
St. Patrick’s Day kicks fairly early on Saturday morning (March 16, 2013) when everyone gathers round the Chicago River to watch them dye the water green. The best place to watch is from the East side of the bridge at Columbus Drive or on Wacker Drive between Columbus and Lake Shore. Parking is limited, so check out the transportation in Chicago that will easily goes from the parade and back.

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Chicago begins at noon at Balbo and Columbus Drive. The parade proceeds north on Columbus until it reaches Monroe Drive. The best place to watch the Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade is at the viewing stand in front of Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park. Some of the best hotels in Chicago have a great view of the parade and bars or rooms to watch from that will keep everyone nice and warm.

After the parade ends, there are several more Chicago events happening, including bar crawls, concerts, Irish dance performances and boat tours. Get plenty of sleep the night before St. Patrick’s Day, because the party doesn’t stop until Sunday night.

Boat Tours on St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago
Many of the best boat tours in Chicago will be running on the green Chicago River this St. Patrick’s Day, and there’s never a more exciting time to be out and about on the waters. The St. Patrick’s Day cruises do fill up, so making reservations ahead of time is recommended.

Shoreline Sightseeing St. Patrick’s Day cruises are scheduled before and after the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, from 10am - 11am and then again from 2pm to 3:30pm. These cruises include a traditional Irish buffet, a cash bar and a 90-minute tour that explores all 3 branches of the Chicago River.

The Wendella Sightseeing tours will take place on Saturday from 9:30am - 11:30am, where you can watch the dying of the Chicago River from right on top of it all. Stay entertained with Irish music, a brief narrated tour and great drink specials.
Many of the best boat tours in Chicago are also having a St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Cruise on Sunday, March 17th. Join Spirit of Chicago cruises for a St. Patrick’s Day dinner and a “shamrockin’ good time” with a dinner buffet, drink specials and plenty of green beer.

Where to Drink on St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago
The Saint Paddy’s PubCrawl at Dugout Wrigley goes from Friday through Sunday, with options for a one day pass or three day pass. Wear green and crawl to up to 10 bars one evening, or all three evenings of the weekend. There will be an Irish buffet starting at 7pm at Mayne Stage featuring the most authentic Irish foods, music by Switchback and a dance performance by Colleen Quick Step Group. Head to one of the Irish bars in Chicago like Timothy O’Tooles, Emmit’s Irish Pub, Fado and Celtic Crossing for a great times and special St. Patrick’s Day Chicago Events.

Check out all the great things to do in Chicago on St. Patrick’s Day - almost everything will be open after the parade. Visiting with the family? Check out some of the museums and all the attractions decked out in their greenest Irish getup. Is this an adults only trip? Most of the bars in Chicago will be going hard all weekend long. Check out all of the last minute Chicago hotel deals to plan an expensive getaway down to the day before, or in case things get too wild to take home on Saturday night.

Chicago is one of the top vacation destinations in America famous for their annual events, popular foods, architecture and top sports teams. guides travelers to all the best things to do, top places to eat and deals on the best places in Chicago to stay. This article was written by Lizz Riggs, editor of

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Lizz Riggs
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