“St. Patrick’s Day is an enchanted time – a day to begin transforming winter’s dreams into summer’s magic.” -Adrienne Cook
The city of Chicago pulls out all the stops every St. Patrick’s Day and this year is no exception. If you’re visiting the Windy City in March 2011 or if you’re a resident of this great town, make sure to take in these special St. Patrick’s Day events for a wonderful way to celebrate the day.
2011 Chicago Saint Patrick’s Day Parade
Every year this well-known parade is held the Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day. The reason the parade is not held on the actual day is to allow families with children to be able to attend since school children would be in session if St. Patrick’s Day falls during the week. This year’s parade will be held on Saturday, March 12 and steps off at noon from the corner of Balbo Drive and Columbus Drive. A viewing stand for parade-goers will be stationed in front of Buckingham Fountain.
Dyeing the Chicago River
This spectacular event is a sight to see when visiting Chicago for St. Patrick’s Day. The Chicago River will be turned a vibrant color of green on March 12th (to coincide with the St. Patrick’s Day Parade). This “modern day miracle” as Chi Town residents like to call it started in 1962. The reason they call it a miracle is that the actual dye used to change the color of the river is orange. After a few seconds the orange turns into a beautiful shade of Irish green. Many like to say this is where the help of leprechauns comes into play. There are several ideal spots to view this amazing event: from the West side of the Columbus Drive bridge; Whacker Drive between Columbus and Michigan Avenue; or from the East side of the Columbus Drive bridge. The dying will begin at 10:45 a.m.
St. Paddy’s 5K Run/Walk and 8K Run & Leprechaun Leap
Chicago’s annual St. Patrick’s Day 5K Run/Walk has added a new element this year to the event: a competitive 8K run. The run/walk will take place on March 20 at 10 a.m. and begin from the corner of Cannon Drive and Fullerton and benefits Special Olympics. There will also be a post run party at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and will include live entertainment, prizes and awards. Every participant over the age of 21 will also be treated to a complimentary Guinness beer. This year’s them of the run/walk is “Be Seen … Be Green” and all participants are encouraged to wear green attire to celebrate the event. Entrance fee is $30 ($35 on the day of the event) and participation is limited to 5,000 people. The Leprechaun Leap is geared for runners age 10 and under and participation for free. An optional t-shirt is available for $8. Plan to attend this great St. Patrick’s Day event and take in the beautiful scenery long Chicago’s lakefront shore. For more information, click here.