Everything You Need To Know About St. Patrick's Day in Chicago

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    How To Celebrate St. Paddy's Day In Chicago Like A Pro

    No doubt about it,  St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago is awesome. It's an opportunity for Irish and Irish Americans to showcase their rich heritage, and on this festive weekend, everyone is Irish on St. Paddy's Day. That day occurs on March 17.

    Chicago not only boasts one of the largest and most significant St. Patrick's Day parades in the world, but it hosts two: one on the North Side and another on the far South Side. The downtown parade attracts more visitors, while the South Side edition is more neighborhood oriented; both are well attended.

    And what's the deal with the Chicago River being dyed green, you ask? It's been going on for more than 50 years, and the tradition is as strong as the parades. Think of it this way: When it comes to celebrating St. Patrick's Day, the Windy City shows out like New Orleans during Mardi Gras season with pub crawls, parties and more.

    So, if you're thinking of attending, this is your official guide for everything you need to...MORE know, from where to stay to places to hit up for the best Irish-focused fare.

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  • 02 of 05

    Everything You Need To Know About The Parades, Dyeing of the Chicago River

    First things first. The dyeing of the Chicago River occurs the Saturday before St. Patrick's Day, which is March 11 for 2017. The dyeing is scheduled for 9 a.m., and may be best viewed from the east side of Michigan Avenue, the west side of Columbus Drive,  or upper and lower Wacker Drive between Michigan Avenue and Columbus Drive.

    The downtown Chicago St. Patrick's Day Parade also takes place the Saturday before the holiday. For 2017, it kicks off at noon March 11 at Balbo and Columbus streets. The parade units will proceed north on Columbus Drive and the viewing stand will be located in front of Buckingham Fountain. Here is a great list of restaurants in the area to check out.

    The South Side Irish St. Patrick's Day Parade occurs the Sunday before St. Patrick's Day, which is March 12 for 2017. It will step off at noon from 103rd Street and proceed down Western Avenue to 115th Street. The family-friendly event has a zero-tolerance policy for alcohol along the parade route.

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  • 03 of 05

    Where To Stay

    ••• A view of Chicago's spectacular skyline from BIG Bar, in the Hyatt Regency Chicago. Hyatt Regency Chicago

    Perched directly over the Chicago River, Hyatt Regency Chicago is also located right off the famed Magnificent Mile shopping district. As the city's largest hotel--and the world’s largest Hyatt property--it includes 2,019 guest rooms, meeting spaces and restaurants. The hotel is very family friendly, yet one of its biggest attractions is BIG Bar, which claims to have the longest freestanding bar in North America, plus more than 1,400 beverage choices. BIG Bar also pays homage to two of Chicago’s most notorious events (The Chicago Fire and Blizzard of 1967).

    Additional Hotels on the Chicago River

    The Langham

    Sheraton Grand Chicago

    Wyndham Grand Chicago Riverfront

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    Where To Dine

    ••• Wilde Bar & Restaurant

    Wilde Bar's grand library emits a luxurious, old-world vibe that's perfect for an Irish-themed pub. The space throughout is done up in rich leather and hardwood accents, and while the library is filled with a variety of books, it might be best to bring your own. Of course, the classic shepherd's pie is on the menu, as well as a Reuben made with molasses-glazed corned beef. There are also curried mussels, country chicken pot pie, grilled cheese, and a host of gluten-free and vegetarian dishes.

    Additional Places To Chow Down

    Fado Irish Pub

    Irish American Heritage Center

    Mrs. Murphy & Sons Irish Bistro

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    Where To Drink

    ••• GreenRiver Chicago

    Cocktail-focused GreenRiver earned a Michelin star in 2017, and it draws inspiration from the Irish Americans who helped transform Chicago into the great city it is today. Its sleekness and modern edges put it in a different category than authentic Irish pubs around town.

    GreenRiver's food and drink menus are seasonal, which means they're always changing, yet imbibers can always count on a well-curated rye whiskey list to be pretty consistent. And speaking of whiskey, these 10 taverns feature the best collections in Chicago.

    There are also a number of St. Patrick's Day-themed pub crawls, booze cruises and parties happening in Chicago.