5 Places to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day in Chicago | Midwest Living

5 Places to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day in Chicago

It’s easy to be Irish on St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago. Here are five places to start.
Photo courtesy of City of Chicago/choosechicago.com.
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1 The Chicago River’s famous Kelly green dye job (March 15, 2014) draws roughly 30,000 spectators, all there to watch members of the Chicago Journeymen Plumbers Local 130 stir powder into the river. (Little-known fact: The dye is orange, but the water turns green.) To get the best views of the 50-plus-year-old tradition, stand along the banks and bridges at Columbus Drive west to Wabash Avenue. Dye time is 10 a.m.; the parade starts at noon. (312) 942-9188; chicagostpatsparade.com

2 FitzGerald’s Nightclub in west-suburban Berwyn packs two stages with Irish music, rock and step dancing. Irish eats during this special celebration include beef stew, soda bread, and corned beef and cabbage. In case you wondered: Yes, FitzGerald’s is a roadhouse, but this party is kid-friendly. It’s March 15, from 1 p.m. to midnight; admission (not including food) is $15 for adults, $5 for kids. (708) 788-2118; fitzgeraldsnightclub.com

3 Morrie O’Malley’s Hot Dogs doesn’t serve traditional Irish dishes, but this family-owned spot in Bridgeport on Chicago’s South Side celebrates the neighborhood’s heritage. Bob and Jinger O’Malley fly the Irish flag in March, and Sox fans sit in the original Comiskey Park seats and eat Vienna hot dogs dressed with relish, tomato, a cucumber spear, dill pickle, onion and celery salt. Top it off with a crème de menthe-shamrock shake. (773) 247-2700; morrieomalleys35.com

4 The Irish-American Heritage Center’s annual St. Patrick’s Festival begins at 1 p.m. and lasts until midnight on Chicago’s northeast side. Irish dancers jig and reel, and the Shannon Rovers bagpipe band performs March 15. Artists, jewelers and crafters sell their Irish-inspired works. In the museum, see handmade lace and Irish Belleek china. Admission charged; kids 12 and under get in free. (773) 282-7035; irish-american.org

5 The Hilton Chicago, located in the South Loop, has two places to celebrate. Families dine on the Irish buffet in the casual 720 South Bar and Grill; pint-hoisting crowds pile into Kitty O’Sheas, an authentic Irish pub with a knotty shillelagh (an Irish cudgel) on the Tudor walls and some staff who speak with a brogue accent ($10 cover). After the city’s parade, kilt-wearing bagpipers often blow into Kitty’s to hang out. (312) 922-4400; hilton.com

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