Celebrate Saint Patrick and Irish culture

 

Chicago River turns Green to celebrate Saint Patrick. (Photo courtesy of City of Chicago)
Chicago River turns Green to celebrate Saint Patrick. (Photo courtesy of City of Chicago)

 

Wear something green on March 17, the date Saint Patrick died in the fifth century. But if you want to watch a parade in his honor or see the Chicago River turn green you’ll want to start celebrating St. Patrick’s Day the weekend before the anniversary date.

Chicago River Dyed Green

On Saturday, March 12, 2022, start your celebration near Chicago’s Mag Mile at the Michigan Avenue Bridge, Wacker Drive on the south bank or the  Riverwalk on the north bank.

That is where the Chicago Journeymen Plumbers Local Union 130 work their secret formula magic each year between Columbus Drive and Wabash Avenue, Saturday morning before Chicago’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Typically using two motor boats and usually starting about 10 a.m., union members pour and disperse gallons of an orange-colored environmentally-safe vegetable powder into the water.

The process takes about 45 minutes and draws a big crowd so if you go you’ll want to get to the area early for a good vantage point.

Originally started in 1962 using a fluorescent dye that made the water green for a few weeks, the dying process was changed to an eco-friendly powder that turned the river green for a few hours.

Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Next, head to Columbus Drive for the Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade. It begins at 12:15 p.m. at Balbo Drive and continues north to Monroe Drive.

Expect to see floats, Irish dancers, bagpipers and bands including the Shannon Rovers Irish Pipe Band which has been leading the parade since 1956. Then, you will hear lots of applause as representatives of the 2022 theme, Chicagoland’s Essential Workers, march into view.  Of course there will be city, state and US politicians. For more info visit  St. P:atrick’s Day Parade org.

Irish American Heritage Center Fest

Wind up at the St. Patrick Festival at Irish American Heritage Center for good food, beer and entertainment from 1 to 11:30 p.m. While there absorb Irish culture in its museum.  Find tickets and more information at Irish American Heritage Center (irish-american.org) (Children welcome and ages 11 and under have free admission.

South Side Irish Parade

The St. Patrick salutes continue on Sunday, March 13 with the popular South Side Irish Parade in the Beverly neighborhood of Chicago at noon.

A family-friendly parade, it began as a really small, kids only parade by a couple of neighbors in 1979.  However, it grew and grew to become so  popular across the Chicago area attendance disrupted its Beverly neighborhood until restrictions on parking and drinking were put in place.

So go but observe neighborhood requests. The parade is on Western Avenue from 103rd Street to 115th Street. For more information visit Home – South Side Irish Parade

Northwest Side Irish

If  Northwest is more your location, consider the Northwest Side Irish Parade March 13 that also beings at noon. It goes from Neola Avenue to Northwest Highway.

A fun, community event, the parade winds through Chicago’s Norwood Park neighborhood. It begins at the William J. Onahan School, goes south on Neola venue to Northwest Highway and then heads north to Harlem Avenue. There is an after parade party at Zia’s Social.  Visit  Northwest Side Irish Parade.

You might hear Céad mile fáite  (A hundred thousand welcomes) n or Erin Go Bragh (Braugh)  roughly meaning Ireland til the end of time, there or at the Irish Heritage Center.

Jodie Jacobs

 

Chicago celebrates Saint Patrick differently this year

COVID canceled parades and green Chicago River but look for green lights on downtown buildings (City of Chicago photo)
COVID canceled parades and green Chicago River but look for green lights on downtown buildings (City of Chicago photo)

Céad míle fáilte, a hundred thousand welcomes, may greet customers of Chicago area eateries and bars in March. And expect the city’s skyline to be filled with green lights from March 11 through March 17.

Even though the city’s famed downtown and the two neighborhood parades, Southside Irish and Northwest Side Irish, have been canceled for 2021 and the plumbers union that turns the Chicago River green shows no sign of doing so this year, the easing of restrictions by Governor J B Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot means many restaurants and bars will be happily welcoming customers in time for March’s St. Paddyh’s Day celebrations.

Expect them to ask guests to mask when entering and when their server is present. And check on reservations because they will be operating at 50 percent capacity and shortened stay time.

“The City of Chicago is encouraging St. Patrick’s Day celebrations that follow current city and state health guidelines,” noted a Dept. of Cultural Affairs and Special Events statement.

In addition, the statement said, “The Chicago Loop Alliance is asking downtown buildings to light up green for ShamROCk Chicago, and other neighborhoods are hosting socially distance scavenger hunts and other reimagined programs.”

As an example, Southside Irish Parade committee is hosting a Shamrock our Blocks celebration with signs and decorations. The South Side Irish Parade

“Each year, the South Side Irish Parade draws thousands of people to our community and to our neighborhood businesses.  The parade committee’s goal is to create a plan that gives back to local businesses as well as offer a family-friendly festive way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year,” said 2021 Committee Chair Tim McSweeney

Northwest Side Irish are in the planning process. Visit Northwestsideirish.

As to a few places to hoist a Guinness or chow down on something supposed to be Irish or green, check out the following businesses:


STAN’S DONUTS

From now until March 17th, Stan’s Donuts (all locations0 is offering all things green. Guests can get Emerald-dipped donuts, Green River Glazed donuts, Green Mint Hot Chocolate, Irish Cream Cold Brew and Mint Cream Cold Brew topped with Cold Foam, Mint Oreo Shakes, and more.

PB&J 

West Loop hotspot PB&J offers a St. Patrick’s Day experience for up to six guests. Starting at 8 a.m. March 13, guests can book these pre-paid packages:

St. Patrick’s Brunch Kit –  1 bottle of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label, Carafes of Green Orange Juice,Green Beer, and guests choice of 2 Brunch Pizzas at $50 per person.

Leprechaun Package – 1 bottle of Jameson, Don Julio Blanco or Ketel One, Green beer, 2 Pizzas, and St. Patrick’s Day party swag at $75 per person.

Dealers Choice –  Guests can order any food or beverage item off PB&J’s menu a la carte with a $75 minimum per person.

In addition to these pre-paid packages, PB&J will also have a “Pot O Gold” pop up bar outside. Guests can purchase Green beer, Guinness, Red Bull Cocktail, Slane shots, and more. As a proud sponsor of the 2021 St. Paddy’s Day 5k and 8K Run/Walk, participants will receive a free Dogfish Head beer, while supplies last.

THE DEARBORN

For two Ireland-born sisters, the reopening of The Dearborn this month comes in time for their home country’s celebrated holiday. Besides iconic Irish dishes like Fish & Chips (which Chef Aaron Cuschieri made and won with on Food Network’s Beat Bobby Flay) and a Corned Beef Reuben, The Dearborn will offer specials such as Seafood Chowder, Beef & Lamb Shepherd’s Pie and a Strawberry & Crème Roulade cake. Also  available Guinness on draft, Irish Whiskeys and Irish Coffee.

The Dearborn is also partnering with Vanille Patisserie for those who can’t make it to the Loop but still want to celebrate with Irish fare. Throughout St. Patrick’s week, order a three-course family meal featuring the Seafood Chowder, Shepherd’s Pie and a special Irish Apple Cake with Shamrock Cookies from Vanille for dessert. Available through TOCK from March 10-17 for pick-up at Vanille’s Lincoln Park location or at The Dearborn.

Erin go bragh

Jodie Jacobs

 

Around Town learns City of Chicago parade canceled

Don’t go downtown to see the river or the parade in 2020. both have been canceled due to c virus concerns. (Photo courtesy of City of Chicago)

 

Well, people will still be wearing something green on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, but they won’t find the Chicago River turning green on March 14 or the annual parade going north on Columbus Drive that day. The parade and river dyeing have been canceled.

For more information check Chicagostpatricksdayparade. For the City of Chicago health Department information visit Protection and Response

Jodie Jacobs