If I could claim another nationality, it would be Irish. They’re generally a friendly bunch, their country is beautiful and they bottle one amazing international beer. Alas, I can only visit Ireland but I’m lucky to live near the city of Chicago–who knows how to celebrate like the Irish in March.
There are so many different activities in the city, from parades, to the river dyeing, to lecture series about the Irish culture. You can take your family, your significant other or a group of friends and you’ll have a blast!
So what did I do? Kelly and I went downtown on Saturday for the Chicago River Dyeing. We boarded the El at 9:15 a.m. to make sure we would make it down a few minutes before the actually dyeing started at 10 a.m. The tradition of dyeing the Chicago River started over 40 years ago. You can read more about the history here.
I love being able to watch all the people wearing green, orange and white suddenly appear along the riverfront. Next, the bridges from LaSalle to Columbus are filled with spectators. The river walk becomes virtually impassable with people standing shoulder-to-shoulder waiting for the men in white jumpers to appear in a small fourteen-foot boat spraying a neon green liquid into the River.
Cheers erupt, high fives are met in mid-air, green beads are thrown and a gazillion photos are being taken.
After getting our picture taken and being pummeled by a few wind gusts, we decided it was time to warm up. Practically every bar along the river was exploding with merry folks, so we ventured further south to the Elephant and Castle on Jackson. Served with an Irish coffee and a hefty shot of Jameson, Kelly and I were on our way to warming up.
Sitting next to the bar at a table, we marveled at people’s outfits and the amount of Irish car bombs ordered. We paced ourselves, splitting a corned beef sandwich and sweet potato fries and Strongbows. Our next destination led us to join friends at the Hard Rock Café to enjoy live music and another round of drinks. We hopped along to the Fedora Lounge to meet a few more friends before landing at our final destination of Shenanigans.
We had a blast catching up with friends at each bar and of course, people watching. And let’s be honest, you can’t have a bad day when there is green beer.