St. Patrick’s Day is just a few days away, and in Illinois, there’s no shortage of ways to celebrate the luck of the Irish! From parades to pub parties, you can find Irish festivities in every corner of the state.
Below is a roundup of some of our favorite ways to celebrate this year:
The Windy City is known for its St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, including parades, the dyeing of the Chicago River and countless parties at local Irish pubs. Check out these three celebrations coming up this weekend:
- Chicago River Dyeing, Saturday, March 12 at 9 am – This once-a-year spectacle draws nearly 400,000 people to see the Chicago River erupt into a sea of green. Boats release 45 pounds of eco-friendly vegetable dye into the water to amp up the holiday spirit. The dye only lasts about five hours, so make sure to see it at its brightest!
- Downtown Parade, Saturday, March 12 at 12 pm – Chicago celebrates St. Patty’s Day with one of the largest parades in the country. This free event features floats, Irish dancers, bands, bagpipers and of course, plenty of green.
- South Side Irish Parade, Sunday, March 13 at 12 pm – Continue the Irish festivities all weekend with 150,000 people at the South Side Irish Parade on Sunday. Floats, music, dancers and the Emerald Isle Mile make this event memorable for all.
See the Chicago River light up as it transforms into a sea of green! (Photo credit: Choose Chicago)
This year marks Springfield’s 32nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade starting Saturday, March 12 at noon. This parade is a great opportunity for families to celebrate the festivities of St. Patrick’s Day and explore downtown Springfield.
The theme of Springfield’s 2016 parade is “Family is Thee Pot O’Gold”!
Most St. Patty’s celebrations are during the weekend before the holiday, but if you’re looking to sham-rock out on the actual day, make sure to join Peoria’s 16th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Party on Thursday, March 17. The parade starts at 11 am followed by the party at the Peoria Civic Center from 11:30 am-3 pm. Parade winners will be announced at the party, and partygoers can enjoy traditional Irish music from the band Goiste.
There’s no shortage of festive floats at the Peoria parade! (Photo credit: St. Patrick’s Society of Peoria)
In Western Illinois, the Quad Cities go all out for St. Patrick’s Day. The weekend of festivities kicks off with Irish music from The Greenmore Irish Duo at the Moline Library on Friday, March 11 from 12-1 pm. The following day features the 31st annual Quad Cities Grand Parade at 11:30 am, named one of the top ten St. Patty’s parades in North America! What makes this parade so unique? It’s the only interstate St. Patrick’s Day parade in the nation.
After the parade, make your way to Kavanaugh’s Hilltop Tap party for plenty of beer or take advantage of one of the 22 holiday specials in downtown Rock Island.
The Quad Cities parade draws thousands of spectators! (Photo credit: Visit Quad Cities)
Be sure to share your St. Patrick’s Day photos with us by tagging #EnjoyIllinois on social. For more ways to celebrate, visit EnjoyIllinois.com.
-Illinois Office of Tourism