CHICAGO (SUN TIMES MEDIA WIRE) - Those wishing to partake in St. Patrick’s Day revelries this weekend will have plenty of ways to ring in the holiday in Chicago.
In addition to the Chicago River’s iconic dyeing, at least four parades will unfurl throughout the city on Saturday and Sunday, according to a news release from the Office of Emergency Management and Communications.
With the partying comes certain street closures, the OEMC said, encouraging people to use public transportation this weekend. They also warned that “public drinking is prohibited and will be strictly enforced for the safety of everyone.”
The festivities begin Saturday with the dyeing of the Chicago River at 9 a.m., which is expected to draw in thousands of people along Wacker Drive from Michigan Avenue to State Street, the OEMC said. After the dyeing, people can join the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Grant Park, which will move along Columbus Avenue from Balbo Drive to Monroe Street.
Street closures will start as early as 8 a.m. on Columbus Avenue, from Roosevelt Road to Wacker Drive, as well as on any east and west streets within those boundaries. Entry to the parade will only be permitted at Jackson and Ida B. Wells Drives, where security will be checking all bags and purses.
The Chicago Riverwalk will open later in the morning at 11 a.m., with public access allowed at Franklin Street, LaSalle Street, Dearborn Street, and State Street on the east side. Security will be conducting bag searches at entry points on the Riverwalk as well. Outside beverages will be limited to 8 ounces, and alcoholic beverages will be prohibited, officials said. City Winery, Tiny Tapp and Chicago Brewhouse will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Archer Avenue Parade will take place on Saturday as well. Assembly begins at 11 a.m. at 5300 S. Oak Park Ave, the OEMC said. It will step off at 12 p.m. and proceed south on Oak Park Avenue towards Archer Avenue, where it will turn east to Narrangansett Avenue, then south on Narrangansett to 5600 S. Narrangansett.
On Sunday, the South Side Irish Parade kicks off at 12 p.m. and will march down Western Avenue from 103rd Street to 115th Street, officials said. Parking restrictions will begin as early as 6 a.m., with street closures in the area beginning at 9 a.m. At 11:30 a.m., the Emerald Isle Mile, a one-mile run, will take place from Kennedy Park at 10400 Western Avenue to 11200 S. Western Ave.
The Northwest Side Irish Parade will begin to assemble Sunday at 10 a.m. at 6634 W. Raven St. and take off at 12 p.m., officials said. The parade route will follow Neola Avenue to the Northwest Highway and turn northwest towards Harlem Avenue, where it will eventually disband.