Get Your Green On This Saturday In Chicago

March 11, 2011

Thursday, March 17 is St. Patrick’s Day, but in Chicago, the holiday is celebrated on the Saturday before.

That means Saturday, March 12 is St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago, the only city in the world where you will find a green river in honor of the holiday. The Chicago River has been dyed green for the occasion since 1962.

Chicago River greenIt’s a fascinating site to see, and if you have never witnessed it before, you might be shocked to know that the dye is actually orange. Once poured in, the river turns orange just before the beautiful shade of Irish green appears.

Perhaps a little leprechaun has something to do with that?

The dying of the Chicago River is scheduled for 10 a.m. The best place to view will be between Columbus and Wabash in the Loop.

Visit for other good locations to see the show.

The party doesn’t “dye” down after that. The 2011 Chicago Saint Patrick’s Day Parade steps off at noon at Balbo and Columbus.

Sarah Gorecki is this year's Queen of the St. Patrick's Day Parade.

The 56th annual parade will head north on Columbus Drive down to Monroe Street. The viewing stand will be located in front of Buckingham Fountain.

Did you know that the City of Chicago does not pay for the dying of the Chicago River or the Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade? They are actually funded by the Plumbers Union Local 130. There are sponsors, including 93-WXRT radio, and when you buy a t-shirt commemorating the day, proceeds from the sale support the event.

More than 100,000 people are expected to come out to celebrate on Saturday, so public transportation is highly recommended. Visit or for more information.

Don’t want to fight the crowds? Watch it from your Chicago home: The parade will be broadcast live on WLS-ABC 7 Chicago.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, Chicago!

About The Author

Read All Stories By Tracey

Leave a Comment