St. Patrick's Day in Chicago: What you need to know

St. Patrick's Day in Chicago is a sight to behold.

Green-clad masses will slosh across the city this March fueled by culverts of Irish whiskey and foamy green beer.

Although St. Patrick's Day officially takes place on Friday, March 17th, celebrations in Chicago will begin in earnest nearly a week earlier on Saturday, March 11th.

The downtown Chicago St. Patrick's Day parade will take place that Saturday while the equally robust South Side Irish Parade will be held that Sunday.

When will the Chicago River be dyed green?

Plumbers Local 130 will dye the Chicago River a brilliant emerald green at 10 a.m. Saturday west of Columbus Drive and east of Orleans Street.

The tradition dates back to 1962 and has been a fixture ever since.

The dye is harmless to wildlife and lasts for roughly five hours of selfie-snapping pleasure.

The best views of the dye will be from Upper Wacker Drive between Columbus and Fairbanks.

What time does the downtown St. Patrick's Day parade start?

The downtown St. Patrick's Day parade begins at 12:30 p.m. at the corner of Balbo and Columbus drives and will go north to Monroe Street.

Entry to the parade route opens at 10 a.m. at Jackson Avenue and Ida B. Wells Drive. This is the only entry point for parade spectators.

The 2023 Grand Marshal is Timothy Drea, president of AFL-CIO. He will be joined by the guest of honor Councilor Danny Collins, mayor of Cork County, Ireland.

Among those in the parade will be the Shannon Rovers Irish Pipe Band, who have been leading the procession since 1956.

Security will check all bags and purses. Alcohol, open beverages and personal water bottles will not be allowed along the parade route.

When is the South Side Irish St. Patrick's Day parade?

The 2023 South Side Irish Parade is one of the largest St. Patrick's Day celebrations in the United States.

Expect dozens of floats, plenty of Irish music and dance and between 100,000 and 150,000 reveling in the return of one of the South Side's greatest traditions.

The parade will be held Sunday from noon to 3 p.m. at 103rd Street and Western Avenue, marching south to 115th Street.

Don't forget about the Northwest Side Irish Parade

The South Side isn't the only other community celebrating on Sunday.

The Northwest Side Irish Parade starts at noon at William J. Onahan School and proceeds south on Neola Avenue to Northwest Highway where it goes north to Harlem Avenue.

The parade has been going strong for 20 years. 

Be sure to stay after the parade for an after party featuring corned beef and cabbage dinner along with drinks and live entertainment.