12 St. Patrick’s Day parades in Chicago and the suburbs

Chicago’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade is legendary, and for good reason. The annual celebration of everything Chirish is one of the largest events in the country. But did you know that lots of Chicago’s suburbs also host their own parades? Here are several that caught our Irish eye.

Forest Park St. Patrick’s Day Parade

When: March 7

Where: Forest Park Main Street 7344 W. Madison St., Forest Park

The Forest Park Chamber of Commerce’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade features bagpipers, marching bands, Irish dancers, local business entries, Medinah Shriner parade units, local police and fire departments, and more. 

Countryside St. Patrick’s Day Parade

When: March 7

Where: Kensington Ave. at 61st St., Countryside

The parade steps off on Kensington Avenue at 61st Street and proceeds one mile— ending at 55th Place & Edgewood. Parade attendees are invited to check out the local establishments participating in this year’s post-parties. 

Elmhurst Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade

When: March 7

Where: Spring Road and Wilson Street, Elmhurst

Ranked as the second largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the Chicago area. Includes more than 80 floats, Irish Dancers, the Shannon Rovers, local team mascots – Benny the Bull, Southpaw & Tommy Hawk – Chicago Highlanders, Medinah Clowns, Elmhurst Armpit Orchestra, featuring the world’s largest drum & the York High School Marching Band.

Lemont St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival

When: March 7

Where: Lemont Safety Village, 55 Stephen Street, Lemont

Parade in downtown Lemont is followed by food, entertainment and fun at the Lemont VFW. Parade begins at 55 Stephen Street, follows south on Stephen to west on Main Street to the VFW Hall.

Manhattan Irish Fest Parade

When: March 7

Where: 320 W. North Street, Manhattan

The parade begins at E. North & Jan Streets, following west to State Street, where it turns south and ends at Second Street. Families can also enjoy carnival games at the library from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., and stay in town for the rugby game and craft fair.

Tinley Park Irish Parade

When: March 8

Where: 181st and Oak Park Avenue, Tinley Park

See floats, community groups, local schools and businesses. Enjoy delicious Irish fare and fun at the many downtown Tinley restaurants. The parade steps off from Central Middle School and proceeds north on Oak Park Avenue to 171st Street.

Thom McNamee Memorial St. Patrick’s Day Parade

When: March 14

Where: 319 N. River St., East Dundee

Festivities include a Kilted 5K Race, a Big Wheel Race, a Dress Up Your Pet St. Patrick’s Day Pet Parade, jugglers by the Grandstand, Irish dancers, music, marching bands and more.

Naperville St. Patrick’s Day Parade

When: March 14

Where: 899 N. Mill Street, Naperville

Residents will be able to celebrate their Irish heritage by joining the West Suburban Irish for the city’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The parade kicks off from Naperville North High School,  continues south on Mill Street, east on Jefferson Avenue, south on Main Street and west on Water Street to the Municipal Center.

Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade

When: March 14

Where: Columbus Drive between Balbo Drive and Monroe Street, Chicago

This parade features more than 200 floats and marching bands.The river dyeing can be best viewed from the East side of the Michigan Avenue bridge, the West side of the Columbus Drive bridge or upper and lower Wacker Drive between Michigan Avenue and Columbus Drive. The parade starts at Balbo and Columbus. The parade units will proceed north on Columbus Drive and the viewing stand will be located in front of Buckingham Fountain.

St. Charles St. Patrick’s Parade

When: March 14

Where: Main & 6th Street, St. Charles

Enjoy a day of Irish fare, with an Irish Dancing demonstration at Arcada Theater followed by a showing of Disney’s The Luck of The Irish. Parade begins at Main Street at 6th Street and concludes at 4th Avenue.

Plainfield Hometown Irish Parade

When: March 15

Where: Plainfield Central High School, 24120 W. Fort Beggs Drive, Plainfield

The parade steps off from Plainfield Central High School, turns north on James Street, east on Lockport, south on Illinois, then west on Commercial to return to the high school. The Village Preservation Association is hosting a family area at the intersection of Lockport and DesPlaines Streets, before and immediately following the parade. The family area will feature face painting and bounce houses, vendors and local food trucks. Special entertainment will be provided by some of the featured bagpipe bands and Irish dance groups from the parade.

South Side Irish Parade

When: March 15

Where: Western Avenue 103rd to 115th Street, Chicago

Expect high school bands, bagpipe bands, Those Little People, Irish dance schools and more. The Emerald Mile race precedes the parade at 11:30 with the step-off to the 1 1/2-mile parade at noon.


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This story originally published Feb. 27, 2018 on ChicagoParent.com. It has been updated to reflect the most recent information.

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