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St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Chicago

March 16, 2018
by dmirza

Chicago, Illinois is home to a major celebration for St. Patrick’s Day! Horses, parades, marching bands and bagpipes, and a bright green river make the celebration a must see, whether you’re a native Chicagoan or just visiting. The St. Patrick’s Day 2018 parade will be held this Saturday, marking the 63rd anniversary of the festival where everyone is Irish for a day, and the 47th year for the river to be as green as the hills in Ireland.

The parade day, which is always a Saturday, starts out by turning the downtown Chicago River bright green at 9:15 AM. There’s no leprechaun magic here, but rather 40 pounds of EPA approved dye. The dye turns the entire Chicago River an emerald green color and crowds can be seen gathering all along the riverbanks to see the spectacle. This year, the dyeing will stretch an additional block, from State Street to Columbus, so hundreds more can get in on the tradition. The tradition was born unintentionally in 1961 when a plumber using a dye to detect water leaks spoke to one Stephen Bailey. The dye, while typically orange before entering the water, turns a brilliant green once in the river. Only Chicago has been able to successfully make this happen. Maybe there’s some leprechaun magic here after all!St. Patrick’s Day

The parade officially begins at noon with bagpipes, Clydesdale horses, and dancers filling Columbus Drive in Grant Park, with a viewing stand in front of Buckingham Fountain. It may still be pretty cold in March in the Windy City, but that never stops the thousands of people that attend one of the nation’s best St. Paddy’s Day celebrations. St. Patrick’s Day is Saturday, March 17th. How will you celebrate? Whatever you do, be sure to wear some green so you don’t get pinched!

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