CHICAGO - Saint Patrick’s weekend festivities are back after a two year, pandemic-related absence.
The Chicago River will be dyed green on Saturday at 10 a.m. The parades are back on for the weekend.
In 2020, there was no joy, the state was shutting down due to coronavirus. But last year, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the Plumbers Union brought back some of the sparkle by dyeing the Chicago River as a surprise for the city.
The brilliant green water lifted spirits in the middle of the pandemic.
Chicagoan Priscilia Castillo recalled how she was walking across the Michigan Avenue bridge in 2021 and saw the green water. She plans to partake in this year’s celebration.
"I’m really excited. I grew up on the south side, on Western Avenue, so I know the other half of that. We can learn about different things and appreciate them all over again. I think Chicago needs this. We’re back and really excited. The masks are off and it’s going to be amazing."
Laura Menardo wore green accessories to start celebrating early. She says the dyeing of the river has a magical quality.
"It brings the city together in a really interesting way. Now, when we need it the most. After the cold and the snow falls, it’s a spring awakening."
The dyeing of the Chicago River will kick-odd between Columbus Drive and Orleans Street. The tradition started in 1962.
The downtown parade is Saturday at 12:15 p.m., starting at Columbus and Balbo. Spectators can access the parade route on Columbus at Jackson or Ida B. Wells Drive.
The South Side Irish Parade is Sunday at noon, starting at 103rd & western, traveling south to 115th Street.