St Patrick's Day Events in Illinois

From green rivers to Irish bands, cities and towns throughout Illinois celebrate their Irish heritage this weekend.


February 26, 2019

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March 17, 2019, is St. Patrick's Day—the annual celebration of Irish heritage and all things green. In Illinois, communities are celebrating by dyeing their rivers, waving from festive floats, and maybe even dancing a jig or two.

Read below for just a sample of the many themed Events happening in Illinois.

Chicago and Beyond

In downtown Chicago, St. Patrick's Day Parade and River Dyeing is one of the city's most spectacular traditions. On the water between Columbus and Wacker Drives, speedboats unload 45 pounds of vegetable dye to turn the Chicago River a festive shade of green. Then the party continues with a parade replete with floats, flags, and the sound of bagpipes.

This year, McHenry gets in on the fun with a river dyeing of its own. During McHenry ShamROCKS the Fox, the Saturday starts with a 5K run followed by the dyeing of the Fox River by Blarney Island.

On March 9th is Rochelle’s 4th annual St. Paddy’s Day Parade and Irish HooleyThis afternoon of fun has plenty of family-friendly activities including a Wee Folk fun area, face painting, caricature drawings, food vendors, craft vendors, music, photo props, games and live music by the bluegrass band, The Templeton's.

Also on March 9th is the Lemont St. Patrick's Day and Festival featuring Chicago Stockyard Kilty Band and Lemont's own Irish Queen. The parade starts at 1pm and is followed by food, refreshments and fun!

Yorkville hosts their 3rd annual St. Patrick's Day Celebration on March 16th. Live music starts at 8:30am and is followed by the 5K (9am) and the St Patricks Parade at 11am. Sláinte!

Rockford's St. Patrick's Day Parade and PaddyFest kicks off on March 16th where a special limited menu featuring traditional Irish dishes and drinks is available at the Prairie Street Brewhouse.

Learn more about visiting Chicago & Beyond, even when the river isn't green.

Land of Lincoln

The 9th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in Normal—a.k.a. the "Sharin' of the Green"—starts at 1 p.m. on March 16.

Visit the Land of Lincoln for more celebrations of beards and hats.

Great Rivers Country

The Quad Cities kicks off its Grand Parade—with tens of thousands of people lined up along the Mississippi River—during the St. Patrick's Day Parade at Rock Island.

And in downtown Peoria, the tradition of celebrating Irish heritage continues with a full lineup of amazing floats, live Irish bands, and festive drinks. Visit the 39th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade.

Enjoy corned beef & cabbage at the 17th Street Bar and Grill Warehouse during the Murphysboro St. Patrick's Day FestivalThe Irish Kids’ Fest will feature arts and crafts, games and story telling at the Youth Center.

Start a parade of your own with a drive through Great Rivers Country.

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