Chicago St. Patrick's Day Parade 2014You don't have to be Irish to enjoy the St. Patrick's Day Parade in downtown Chicago. The annual event gets underway at noon on Saturday, March 15, beginning at the corner of Balbo and Columbus Drive. It will continue north on Columbus Drive to Monroe. An ideal spot to watch the festivities is the viewing stand in front of the Buckingham Fountain. Leading the parade will be Grand Marshal John McDonough, President and CEO of the NHL Chicago Blackhawks. Before the parade begins, you'll want to check out one of the highlights of the St. Patrick's Day festivities. It's the annual dyeing of the Chicago River green, which gets started two hours before the parade at 10:00 a.m. There are three spots that provide excellent views: the west side of the Columbus Drive Bridge, upper and lower Wacker Drive between Michigan Avenue and Columbus Drive, and the east side of the Michigan Avenue Bridge.
If you're planning on attending the St. Patrick's Day Parade, it's highly recommended that you get to downtown Chicago early and take public transportation. But if you're going to drive, here are some parking tips. The closest parking lots to the parade route are along Wabash Avenue between Lake and Congress. You can also park near Randolph, which is halfway between the parade route and the dyeing of the Chicago River. Handicapped parking is available at the Grant Park underground garage. As for the parade being cancelled due to inclement weather, it's never happened. And you can rest assured that it will never happen. For more information, visit http://chicagostpatsparade.com/.