March 13, 2019

Chicagoans Encouraged to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day Events Safely and Responsibly

River Dyeing and Downtown Parade will be held on Saturday, March 16; South Side and NorthWest Side Irish Parades on Sunday, March 17

The Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) reminds participants, spectators and residents to enjoy the various Chicago St. Patrick’s Day events safely and responsibly throughout the weekend. Chicagoans should expect large crowds, street closures and traffic impacts throughout the city as a result of the events.

“We are proud that Chicago was recently recognized for being what we’ve known all along – the best city in the country to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. However, as residents and visitors enjoy celebrations throughout Chicago, we remind attendees to be mindful of their own behavior and considerate of the communities near the events,” said OEMC Executive Director Rich Guidice. “It takes all of us to watch out for each other to make these events successful.”

OEMC will be monitoring activities and weather conditions, as well as deploying traffic control aides to facilitate traffic. As always, public transportation is encouraged. Public drinking is prohibited and will be strictly enforced for the safety of everyone. The public is urged to remain vigilant and be cognizant of surroundings, especially in crowded areas. If you notice something suspicious, notify on-site security or call 9-1-1.

The Dyeing of the Chicago River and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Saturday, March 16

The festivities begin with the dyeing of the Chicago River green at 9:00 am and is expected to draw thousands along Wacker Dr. from Michigan Avenue to State Street. From there, attendees will join large crowds at the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which steps off at noon at Columbus Avenue and Balbo Drive and proceeds north to Monroe Street.

Expect street closures as early as 8:00 am including Columbus Avenue from Roosevelt Road to Wacker Drive and east/west streets in those boundaries. Lake Shore Drive or State Street can be used as an alternate for these closures.

Parade organizers and the City have stepped up security to curb public to promote a family-friendly environment. Entry to the parade route along Columbus will only be permitted at Jackson and Ida B. Wells Drive (formerly Congress Drive) and all entry points will have security checkpoints where all purses and bags will be checked. No coolers or alcoholic beverages will be permitted along the parade route.

For more information on accessible parking, getting to the parade and other details, visit

As always, public transportation is strongly encouraged. For more information, visit CTA’s website at Rideshare pick-ups and drop-offs will be permitted along State Street from Ohio Street to Roosevelt Road.

Chicago Riverwalk

The Chicago Riverwalk will open on Saturday, March 16 at 11 am. Public access after 11 am. will be at the following locations:

  • Franklin
  • LaSalle
  • Dearborn
  • East Side of State Street

Several safety measures are in effect for the safety of everyone entering the Riverwalk:

  • Event security will be searching all bags and limiting all outside beverages to 8oz upon entry.
  • Alcoholic beverages cannot be brought inside.
  • All the under-bridge connections will be closed to the public throughout the day.

City Winery, Tiny Tapp and Chicago Brewhouse will be opened to the public at 11 am. consistent with the hours of the Chicago Riverwalk License and will close at 5 pm.

Archer Avenue Parade on Saturday, March 16

The Archer Avenue Parade also continues to attract more participants to the event. Parade floats and participants will assemble at 11:00 am. at 5300 South Oak Park Avenue. The St. Patrick’s Day Parade steps off at noon on Oak Park Avenue and proceeds from 5400 S. Oak Park to Archer Avenue; east on Archer to Narragansett; south on Narragansett to 5600 S. Narragansett.

South Side Irish Parade on Sunday, March 17

The South Side Irish Parade is always a popular event, attracting thousands to the Western Avenue area, with over 100 units participating in the parade of marching bands, floats and Irish dancers. The parade steps off at noon and continues on South Western Avenue from 103rd Street to 115th Street. Parking restrictions in the area begin as early as 6:00 am on Sunday, but anyone parking in the area that day should read signage before parking. Street closures along the parade route as well as the staging areas begin as early as 9:00 am. For more information, visit the website at

Immediately before the parade at 11:30 a.m., the Emerald Isle Mile, a one-mile run, will take place from Kennedy Park, 10400 S. Western Avenue to 11200 S. Western Avenue.

NorthWest Side Irish Parade on Sunday, March 17

The NorthWest Side Irish Parade continues to gain in popularity each year, attracting more participants and spectators to the event. Parade floats and participants will assemble at 10:00 a.m. at 6634 W. Raven Street. The parade steps-off at noon on Raven Street (Onahan School) and proceeds to Neola Avenue, then to Northwest Highway and disbands at Harlem Avenue. Get additional parade safety tips and more at

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