POPSUGAR Celebrity

Why St. Patrick's Day in Chicago Is Basically the Best

Mar 14 2014 - 6:00pm

Irish? More like Chi-rish! With a huge Irish population and a legacy of wild holiday festivities, Chicago is known to be one of the best places to visit to get in the St. Patrick's Day spirit. Year after year, celebrations bring out big crowds, parades, and plenty of shamrock-covered costumes — plus, the Chicago River gets dyed green, a tradition that dates back to 1962. This year, locals worried about a major buzzkill when chilly temperatures called coloring the river into question, but despite giant chunks of ice floating along the water, it's been announced that festivities will go on as planned. How, exactly, does the dye job work? Four workers in one boat dump dye into the river, and four workers in another boat help to spread the color around. About an hour and a half later, the Chicago River is a bright green, staying that way for six to 10 hours. Channel the luck of the Irish with a look at why Chicago may just be the best place to celebrate St. Patrick's Day!

Source: Getty / Tasos Katopodis [1]

St. Paddy's Day starts with a big Irish feast.

Source: Instagram user aidj88 [2]

Irish flags are everywhere.

Source: Twitter user Tree2525 [3]

So are shamrock flags.

Source: Instagram user hy_d_nguyen [4]

And giant bottles of Jameson.

Source: Twitter user CameronOdell [5]

Chicagoans are divided into South Side Irish and Everyone Else.

Source: Instagram user allisonjorsch [6]

Guinness gloves are a thing.

Source: Instagram user cstrawgram [7]

Along with rainbow balloons.

Source: Instagram user balloonsbytommy [8]

(There are lots of balloons.)

Source: Instagram user princ3sschrissy [9]

The sports teams get festive, with even the Blackhawks Ice Crew rocking green.

But the main attraction is the Chicago River, dyed green.

Source: Twitter user BreeBoettcher [10]

As in — very, very bright green.

Source: Twitter user bergstromauto [11]

Huge crowds make their way to the riverbanks.

It gets totally chaotic.

Even the fountains show their Irish pride.

Source: Twitter user jonsmithusernam [12]

And, oh, there's a leprechaun just jetting over the water like Iron Man.

Source: Instagram user cailinlo [13]

Ahead of time, everybody collects a crazy mix of shamrock-covered flair.

Source: Twitter user twinnerdos [14]

Mustaches included.

Source: Instagram user cinbip [15]

Dogs, too, get into the holiday spirit.

Source: Instagram user emchyde [16]

They wear cute little green sweaters.

Or, you know, their fur is dyed green.

Starting very early in the morning, the streets look like this.

Source: Instagram user _nattyanne [17]

And the el trains look like this.

Source: Twitter user AlexisJRoseman [18]

People drink a lot of these.

Source: Instagram user alisatimms [19]

And there's a big parade, including bagpipes.

And Irish dancers.

And leprechaun mascots.

Chicagoans sport big green glasses and big green hats.

There are painted faces and kids standing on shoulders.

Also, kids wrapped in Irish blankets.

Rain or shine, it's a party.

Beer-themed styles are all the rage.

And it's encouraged to become a ginger for the day.

Sometimes, Justin Bieber makes a holiday appearance.

Source: Instagram user megfier [20]

And pub food is everyone's best friend.

Source: Instagram user matthiaswadus [21]

But seriously, did we mention the leprechaun wearing jet shoes?

Cheers to the Chirish!

Way to do St. Patrick's Day right, Chicago.

Source: Instagram user liquidaperturechicago [22]

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