By Sara Lugardo
St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago is just one of many holidays that helps to bring out the diverse culture in Chicago. With the largest Polish population outside of Poland, Chicago does it up for Casimir Pulaski Day and the same goes for the Puerto Rican Day Parade in Humboldt Park and Chinese New Year celebrations in Chinatown. Chicago has a culturally rich population of Irish people and there are a number of great celebratory events that are suitable for children. Kids can celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by participating in some Chicago events that are great for the whole family.
2013 Chicago Saint Patrick’s Day Parade
400 S. Columbus Drive
Chicago, IL 60607
Date: March 16, 2013
The parade starts at Balbo and Columbus, ends at Monroe and Columbus and has a viewing stand located in front of the Buckingham Fountain. For those driving in, click here for vehicle instruction from all sides of the city. Parking fees generally range from $20 to $60, depending on the lot chosen, so it’s highly recommended to use public transportation. Click here for public transportation information.
South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade
10934 S. Western Ave.
Chicago, IL 60655
Date: March 10, 2013
The parade will start on Western Avenue and 103rd Street and end on Western Avenue and 115th Street. The 2013 Line of March won’t be released until the week before the parade, so check the website to see any new details that have emerged about what will be featured in this year’s parade. This parade has a long history dating back to 1979 but ever since 1981, there have been some constants that make this parade special. Each year, a Grand Marshall is chosen and there are two organizations that are highlighted, including a Special Honoree charitable organization dedicated to children.
2013 West Suburban Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade
West Suburban Irish
Naperville, IL 60566
Date: March 16, 2013
The location of this parade lends well to those in the surrounding suburban neighborhoods that can’t necessarily make it to the downtown Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Each year, there is a West Suburban Irish Parade Queen who will ride in the parade along with her court and Honorary Grand Marshall. Streets are lined with families with children of all ages and make sure not to forget to wear green.
Lenten Fish Fry
Irish American Heritage Center
4626 N. Knox Ave.
Chicago, IL 60630
Date: March 22, 2013
Partake in a traditional Irish meal with some fun for the whole family. This is an annual event that is held from February 15 to March 29, every Friday. The dinner is fried cod, French fries and vegetables and there will be live music. The Irish American Heritage Center is a great place to go for those looking to delve deeper into Irish-American culture, whether it’s enrolling in the School of Celtic Art or partaking in its Quiz Night at the Center to compete against teams about trivia knowledge.
Official Northwest Side After Party
Immaculate Conception Recreation Center
7211 W. Talcott Ave.
Chicago, IL 60631
Date: March 17, 2013
The Northwest Irish Parade is another Irish-American St. Patrick’s Day parade, focused on faith, family and heritage on the Northwest Side of Chicago. While the parade starts at 12 p.m., the after party is a great part of what makes this particular parade special. Tickets include a Danny Boy Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner with an Eli’s Cheesecake dessert. There will also be wine, soda, beer and live entertainment. Bring the whole family for an after-party celebration after viewing the parade and have some traditional food and fun.
Sara Lugardo is a Korean American who thrives in writing about Asian community news in Chicago. She has a Bachelor’s in Communication and is currently working on her Master’s. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.