New St.Patrick’s Day Tradition in McHenry

St. Patrick's DayThe Irish heritage comes out at least a little bit in us all on St. Patrick’s Day It’s the one national holiday that’s celebrated in more countries than any other. Throughout U.S. cities there are festivals, parades, Irish dancing and music. From dyeing the river green to world-famous festivals and parades, Chicago is known for its spirited celebration of Ireland’s beloved saint. This year, McHenry is taking on a new tradition of its own. Instead of locals having to fight the crowded streets of Chicago to be near the green river, the Fox River is getting its own fresh green color.

Throughout the state parades and activities are held to honor Irish heritage with Irish food, dances, music and more. If you’re wanting to travel to Chicago, there are numerous activities to join in on. However, if you’re looking for a little something closer to home, we have you covered!

For the Travelers

Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade

As one of the most popular St. Patrick’s Day activities in the state, the Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade has been celebrating Irish heritage for over 60 years in rain or shine. Each year the Chicago River gets dyed green, drawing attention from thousands of sightseers. An annual corned beef and cabbage dinner and plenty of music festivities are part of the event, as well.

The South Side Irish Parade is the largest neighborhood parade outside of Dublin. With more than 15,000 marchers and over 250,000 spectators annually, this parade has grown significantly in the last 28 years.

Chicago Shamrock Crawl, Chicago, IL

Go bar hopping in Wrigleyville at the Chicago Shamrock Crawl. Tickets include a breakfast buffet, green t-shirt, and lots of free giveaways. The Shamrock Crawl hits up all the best bars in Wrigleyville including Old Crow, Full Shilling, Moe’s, and several others.

Leprechaun Leap, Chicago, IL

Make a difference this St. Patrick’s Day by running in the Leprechaun Leap. This annual event is a favorite among Chicago runners as over 1,000 attendees typically show up to benefit the Greater Chicago Food Depository. The Leap starts and Lincoln Park and finishes by the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.

Irish American Heritage Center St. Patrick’s Day Festival, Chicago, IL

There’s never a dull moment at the Irish American Heritage Center’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration. This large celebration draws thousands of visitors and features Irish step dance performances, contemporary Irish music, food, Irish gifts, children’s activities, and even arts and crafts fair!

Celebrate LocalSt. Patrick's Day McHenry

Following the Shamrock Shuffle at McHenry East Campus, McHenry’s 8th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade will take place on Saturday, March 17th. McHenry ShamRocks the Fox will feature the Shamrock Shuffle 5k, the dying of the Fox River, St. Pat’s Parade, family activities and live music. A beer tent at Miller Point will also be set-up in addition to downtown bar/restaurant and shopping specials.

SHAMROCKED Woodstock Streetfest also takes place March 17 from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. While this event is for everyone, the ladies will be doubly pleased! The theme for the night is everything boy band, meaning you’ll be singing all the hits from N’Sync, Backstreet Boys, New Kids, Boyz 2 Men, One Direction and more.

The temperatures may change but our traditions remain. The downtown St. Patrick’s Day Parade might be the unofficial start to spring, but it’s been held in winter-like temperatures. From fun pub crawls to lively parades, there nothing quite like St. Patrick’s Day near McHenry and Chicago. In March, Irish taverns are packed with revelers, jovial crowds jam the city streets and the Chicago River, and now the Fox River will sparkle brilliant shades of emerald green.

If you’re looking for a new home near these spectacular events, visit us online at

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