Tuesday, March 16, 2010

ST. PATRICK'S DAY : CHICAGO STYLE

St. Patrick's Day in Chicago is always done in an 'over the top' sort of way, as you can see in the photo above. Where else can you see an entire river dyed green? It is said that the road from Chicago to Ireland is paved in water, from the Chicago River to the Illinois River, from the Mississippi to the gulf shores of the Atlantic, straight through to the Emerald Island itself...
Every St. Paddy's Day since the mid 1960's, forty pounds of vegetable dye is dropped into the Chicago River to start our great city's celebration. The dye will only last a few hours, but it is incredible to see!

On the South Side of Chicago we don't have a green river, but we do have Western Avenue and every year up until this year, it's played host to it's own parade, one of the largest parades outside of Dublin. Right here in my neighborhood. It is sort of like being in New Orleans on Fat Tuesday!
Last year there were 15,000 marchers, 120 floats and a whopping 340,000 spectators. We live about 8 blocks from the parade route and this is where the roadblocks start, so it's on foot or bike! I've never had a view from up in these bleachers, but there is a friendly crowd down below!

Last year marked the 31st year of the Chicago South Side Irish Parade. It looks like this pup has seen all of them!
It is estimated that the South Side is 70% Irish... I am only half.
People actually start taking their places on the parade route as early as dawn. The streets are barricaded off just after the last Sunday Mass that day(The parade is always held the Sunday before the holiday). The parade itself lasts a little over an hour but the celebration goes on in all of the Irish bars on Western. Cabs line up and down the street offering free rides home. Many people throw open their doors for 'Open Houses', serving up the traditional corned beef and cabbage, boiled carrots and potatoes and Irish soda bread.
Sometimes at the end of the day, I have to ask myself...what could they be doing over in Ireland?


I am joining in on the 2nd Annual Blog Crawl, hosted by Cuisine Kathleen. Stop in for a visit where this is a ton of food and drink to be had and all sorts of ladies participating in this day of celebration. And stop in to Chicago when you have a chance. It's a great city.

87 comments:

Stacey said...

That looks like so much fun!!

Betsy said...

I thought you did a 'photoshop' on that first picture and it was a joke! Seriously? I have never heard of Chicago doing this! How very fun!

mbkatc230 said...

I had forgotten about them dying the river! It's been over 30 years since I've been to Chicago, but this is definitely one of the times to go. Have fun! Hugs, Kat

Kathleen said...

Sounds like a good time and you can walk there and back!
The weather is supposed to be grand tomorrow for the parade in NYC. I have been many times in my youth! The trip home on the RR wasn't fun with all the over drinkers! :)
My dad used t to take us too when we were young, I am Irish on both sides, but he always reminded us we were Americans first..and proud I am of that!
Thanks for joining my party, Jane, I am so happy you did!
Slainte'!

Keetha Denise Broyles said...

That green water is so awesome. They do that in the canals in downtown Indy too, but I've never been there to actually SEE it.

I will wear green to school tomorrow - - - that will be the extent of MY St. Patty celebration I'm sure.

Ceekay- Thinkin of Home said...

Jane...to answer your questions...I am sorta a Princess and the Pea. I cannot sleep anywhere but in a good clean bed. They have recliners...but they are not comfortable after 12 hours. I try to move around, but there really is no where to go. So, tomorrow, get your whining up and running for me ok???

C'est Moi, Julie Marie said...

Wow! That's alot of green! Sounds like you have soo much fun... Jack is Irish so we whoop it up too... only at home... I cook my corned beef, red new potatoes, cabbage and Irish Coffee of course... always something fun... enjoy your celebrations! xoxo Julie Marie

Tamerie Shriver said...

Ah, the Chicago River dyed green! I remember it well. It looks from the pictures that the weather wasn't too bad. I don't think anyone really cares after a certain point. Hope you had a grand old time!

Happy St Patrick's Day!

Hugs,
Tamerie

Happy To Be/ Gl♥ria said...

How fun Jane, I was back there in 1984 and got to see this...I went to Oak Brook and then to Chicago to see my family...And girl I wished I could fly a float plane I would meet you at the lake ha ha!! But Jane I don't think I could even pass the phyical now ha ha!! Fun post and I hope you have a GREAT St.Paddy's day...I'm also half irish and the other half is meanness ha ha!! Hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

Lori said...

This looks amazing and here I thought Boston was the most Irish city ever! Great shots!

Judi said...

I'm always amazed when we see coverage on TV about the "green" water. So amazing! Happy day to ya Blondie! Judi

Kammy said...

What a neat post - you do know how to party in Chicago !
Happy St Patty's Day !
Kammy

Bonnie said...

Friends and I ordered a pitcher of green beer once and toasted St. Patrick. Boy that was a LONG time ago. We were rockin' the Irish that night!

Bonnie

Chatelaine said...

That is so cool, a green river. You Chicagoans (is that what people from Chicago are called?) have a wonderful spirit.

Great shots of the parade and I especially love the decked out dog.
I think I would love your city.

Pondside said...

What a lot of fun that must be!!

Pat said...

I love Chicago and all the pics you've shared are just great! Hope you have a wonderful celebration. If you can, please see some Leprechauns down here to help me with this packing, ok? :-)

I've missed you ~ hope to be back in the blog world very soon.

xoxo
Pat

Marsha's Mpressions said...

Oh what fun! Enjoyed seeing all the celebrations in your town. I've always heard of turning the lake to green, but never have seen it. Happy Patty Day!

KarenHarveyCox said...

Well, I think Chicago takes the cake at St. Patrick's Day, green cake that is. I still can't believe that they dye the river. My husband loves Chicago, and he says I would too.

Happy St. Patrick's Day.
Karen

D said...

That's so neat how they make the water green in Chicago. Great, fun pics.

D

Theresa said...

Now Jane, that looks like a fun place to be on St. Patrick's Day! Enjoy! I hope you get to have some fun today!

Paula said...

I would love to see the river dyed green, but I don't think I could stand to be in that crowd of people. They sure do look like they are having fun. Enjoy St. Patty's Day!

Coralie Cederna Johnson said...

I had heard about the river running green but your photos are awesome! Happy St. Patricks Day!
Enjoy!
Coralie

Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

I know you don't "go public" on this, but... I do.

Ohhhhhh, the blarney that's being spewed in Washington, DC! Email and call your Representatives! Let 'em know to... Vote No on Obama-Care and get to work on jobs, jobs, jobs. Real jobs!

♣♣♣Happy St. Patrick's Day♣♣♣

AshTreeCottage said...

In my heart I will be back home in Chicago! My beloved hometown!

Happy St Patrick's Day!
Love,
Susan and Bentley
xxoo

MrsKBJ said...

Looks like so much fun!! We hope to visit some time this year!! :)

April said...

I can't get over that GREEN water...how COOL!!! Talk about a fun celebration...I'd love to be a part of it! Happy St. Paddy's Day to you!

Knitty said...

I'd love to see the green river and all the other Chicagoland celebrations. Those are great photos of the river. I hope you are having as beautiful of a day weather-wise as I am.

As you slide down the banister of life, may the splinters never point in the wrong direction!
- Irish Blessing

Melanie said...

I can't believe that they die the river. WOW!

Looks like the love celebrating it. LOL!

Kinda like southerners and college football.

Sue (Someone's Mom) said...

We've seen the green river once...but we often see all the festivities on the news. Chicago really knows how to throw a party!

xinex said...

Amazing pictures, Janie. How fun!...Christine

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I'd love to see the Saint Patrick's Day Parade in Chicago one day! I love the green river! I've seen it many times over the years in NYC, of course, and even marched in it a few times--so much fun!

I just got back from Denver where my son and his family live, and that city had a really charming parade with a western slant. to it. I hope to post photos in my next blog post.


Thanks for your comments about The Irish Hunger Memorial.There are so many people of Irish descent (me too!)in the USA and many came to this country because of the great potato famine. They were so sad to leave Ireland, and initially were treated so badly in this country, so I thought a gentle reminder of one of the reasons we celebrate this day was appropriate.

♣ Happy St. Patrick's Day! ♣

Chrissy said...

Auch I my dear,all the best to you today!!! Wish we were home in Ireland today,course I wish that everyday!!! Lovely post,talk soon!!!

Melissa Miller said...

~WOW! Love the photos Jane! I've always loved Chicago since "Ferris Bullers Day Off". Ha! :)

Barb~Bella Vista said...

Hi Jane, these are just amazing pictures. Wow, a green river....that is awesome. Looks like such fun! Thanks for sharing.

Hugs, Barb ♥

www.MaisonStGermain.com said...

Wow Chicago sure knows how to celebrate! A green river - how cool is that? We new someone who would dye his white dog green every ST. Patricks day. We loved it. It was harmless and he was green for a few months. There were those who didn't see the fun in it though.lol Have a great week!
~Debra
Blog: Capers of the vintage vixens

Tennis Girl said...

Hi Blondie,
Love your blog. My daughter was at Columbia College for 4 yrs, so I spent alot of time in Chicago. It is such a fun city. I am a follower now, please drop by and visit another Illinois girl, when you have time :)
Robin

♥ Sonny ♥ said...

Looks like a grand irish time was had by all. Its good to see so many folks smiling and having a wonderful day.. Thanks for visiting my blog.
Sonny

Carrie said...

It all sound like grat fun there in Chicago!
As to Ireland, I posted about a St Pats blog carnival by JanMary in No. Ireland here:
http://www.janmary.com/

Happy st. Patrick;s Day to you,
Carrie

Mary said...

Chicago really knows how to throw a party, don't they??? ;o)

To answer your question about my shows, I will be a vendor at the Kane County Flea Market in St. Charles. I am always in the same location - Arena Building across from the Main Office. Look for all the white, its hard to miss. ;o)

Would love to meet you...hope you can me it! I will be there May-Oct.

~mary~

Mimi said...

The river has to be awesome...Happy St. Paddy's Day, Jane!

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

What an amazing sight that must be -the green river! The parade does look like N.O. fun! Happy St. Patrick's Day to you. (although it's almost over). laurie

Fifi Flowers said...

Would LOVE to spend a St Pat Day in Chicago... oooh how FUN that would be!!!

sweet european dreams said...

I had NO idea they did this! Great post!

Joanne Kennedy said...

How fun! I heard about this but had never even seen pictures of it. I would love to one day see it in person.

Hugs,
Joanne

Linda (Nina's Nest) said...

Hi Jane, great pics on St. Paddy's day. Wow - they really get into it, don't they! Green water - that's the spirit. Also, love the chicks in the previous post - absolutely adorable! Linda

The Muse said...

We all had to giggle at your reflection upon the wedding prompt, ringless!
LOL
Yes, to be sure that was a before shot :)

Great images for the holiday...ah, who can not smile at the isle of green :)?

Cozy Little House said...

Now that is one very green river! Looks like the greenest of grass.
Brenda

blueberries in the fields said...

wow, this is really amazing ! St-patrick is also very popular here in montreal as there many irish people living there. Long time no see, i have been so extremely busy all winter long. funny, as i wrote this post yesterday, i thought of you telling myself i had to pay you a little visit. always nice to hear from you Jane :) i do hope youspent a wonderful winter. hey, know what ?!? i am going to be a granny ? yes !!! see previous post.
hugs to you dear xoxoxo

Apron Thrift Girl said...

That is one stunning river. I can't imagine what that is like in person. I love Chicago and haven't been back since I met my husband there in 96. I hope we can sometime go. Your photography really captured the spirit of the celebration.

Joanne said...

I have always wanted to see photos of people dying the river green! Thanks for sharing, it is so awesome.

Barb said...

Hi Jane,

Oh, that looks like so much fun. Quiet here....I guess we don't have the Irish spirit going on.

Your table scape is gorgeous. i love those little chicks.

big hugs,
Barb

Lori E said...

St. Patrick's Day barely gets a nod here in Canada...except for the beer. We are all over that part of it.

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

OH, looks fun Jane! I think I need to head to Chicago next St. Patty's Day. The river, that's so cool. And I definately am going to make you a pin cushion. There not hard and a girl needs a place for her pins. Don't worry about the plates, whenever is fine. Your so sweet just to think of such a thing. Our weather is turning yucky just in time for the week-end. Dan and I may head to the Twin Cities just to get out of town. Big Hugs, Cindy

Kathy said...

Woo-Hoo!
Dave and I witnessed that fun time a couple years ago....
Happened to be downtown on the day and watched the green flowing down the river!
Big fun!
Love Chicago!
Happy Weekend sweetie,
xoxo~Kathy @ Sweet Up-North Mornings...

Really Rainey said...

I have heard of this before but never have seen it! AMAZING~ Totally amazing! 40 pounds of green dye does all that? Did I say amazing? HA! I love the little "Dozie" in the parade too! Cute...

So yes, I do have an empty next once again.. its strange in a way... When they all where here the house was always a mess, toys, clothes, towels, dishes... we were always doing something... Now after everyone moved out... the house is still a "mess" cause the more I do the bigger it gets! I know there is light at the end of the tunnel tho and once I get it all done I can sit back and just live a simpler life! Honestly getting this one room cleaned out like this makes me feel a whole lot lighter!

Well I'm all packed and ready to a little vacation at the beach... Stay tuned... I'll post photos...
~Rainey~

Deb said...

Thanks for stopping by! I would love to visit Chicago one day, looks like a fun city! I was peeking through your posts and I really love your springy tablescape, so cute! I really love spring and decorating for it too! Enjoy your weekend, Deb

Bunny, THE PARIS HOUSE said...

Looks like a great time, I would love to see that in person one day!!

Denise said...

Wow, that's some celebration, and great pics. I've never done the St Pat's thing (I'm English you know) ;)
Have a great weekend.

Maryrose said...

Hi Jane,
That is fantastic. A green river is a very ambitious task and Chicago does it so well. This was a great post, and I thought we were serious about St Patrick's Day...I think not.
I did have bloody mary's at Mike Ditka's bar when I was there several years ago with my girlfriends, but that is my closet to celebrating in Chicago.

Enjoy your day and thanks for the smile.
Maryrose

Lovely Scribbles said...

Wow! I may have to make a trip down to Chicago for next St. Patty's Day. It looks like quite the par-tay! Oh, and I love your spring fling goodies on your previous post. So, so cute!

Together We Save said...

Wow - that green river must be something to see!

Blue Creek Home said...

I did not know that fun fact about the green river in Chicago! What fun.

I love a parade!
Rhonda

Tommie Jo said...

Looks like so much fun! And that green water~ WOW~ what a site to see!
So glad you had a chance to "visit" my blog!

Nancy said...

How fun! I have done Mardi Gras in New Orleans so many times! Even went to a ball. Great fun, too.

Charlene said...

I have seen photos of this for years but, have never seen it myself. Amazing site! Just out of curiosity... how long does the water stay green after the whole shebang? Thanks for sharing. Have a great weekend. Charlene

Tennis Girl said...

Jane,
Thanks for you nice post about the gazebo at The Daisy Inn. Wanted to tell you that the name was given to the Inn in honor of our little dog, Daisy. She was with us for 14 yrs. She was with us through the process of the restoration of the old house, but lost her 2 yr battle with cancer about a year after we opened. The vet told us she would last for 6 months, but she stay with us for 2 more years. The sign out front has a drawing that resembles her very much. Thought I would let you know who the Inn's namesake. :)
Robin

Paula said...

Hi Jane!! Can't believe I'm just finding you...!! thanks so much for joining in on my blog giveaway & for your sign purchases!!
Your blog is wonderful and I look foward to visiting often!!
happy spring!!
paula:)

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

This would be so much fun to see.

Thank you so much for your good wishes. I am on the mend and will be back to my whirlwind self very soon.

Blessedmom's Simple Home said...

It looks like fun. My son spent a few weeks in Chicago a couple of years ago and loved it.

I wish I could send you some of our sunshine, I know you've had more than your share of snow this Winter.
Blessings,
Marcia

Lynn said...

Looks like Chicago is the Place to Be on St. Patty's Day! Or perhaps Jackson Mississippi, at the Sweet Potato Queen Parade! Good to hear from you.

stefanie said...

that is crazy, i can't beleive the whole river turns green...how fun.

The Summer Kitchen Girls said...

That is on our list of things to do in Chicago! Just waiting for the kids to get a wee bit older :)
Great pictures Jane - makes us feel like we were in the crowd!

Janean said...

i agree with a lot of others, i thought you photoshopped the picture! amazing.

thank you for sharing something most of us could not see otherwise! yay!

happy belated st patty's day, lass.

Elyse said...

wow, what an interesting post! i don't think i knew all of that went on. so fun!

happy spring and happy belated st. patty's day!

xo
elyse

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

I have friends who fly up from Virginia to Chicago every St. Patrick's day just for that day of celebration. He's serious Irish! and a hoot to hang out with. :)

linda said...

Chicago knows how to do it up in style. I hope to make it there one day!

Le Chateau des fleurs said...

SO COLL HAHAHA. Thank you for your visits and compliments on my party:)
Frenchy

koralee said...

Wow....that is amazing. My first thought was about the environment...but I guess it is ok seeing you have been doing it for 30 years. Here where I live you really do not hear too much about St. Patrick's Day.
I would so love to visit Chicago one day.
Have a great week. xo

GWENDOLYN said...

That is wild! Now that is getting in the spirit... I wonder if the ducks and fish and such turn a bit green too? Looks like a great festival!
Blessings!
Gwen

Cottage Cozy said...

Hey cutie:

I am having a "Blue Monday" Giveaway...come by and take a peek.

Have a terrific week!

Stay Cozy, Carrie

Ticking and Toile said...

Wow Jane,
I had no idea they celebrated St. Patrick's Day like that in Chicago! How fun!! That would be amazing to see the river turn green ~ my girls would really get a kick out of that.

Come by & see my final bedroom reveal...it's only taken me forever... AND enter my fabulous giveaway!! :)

Shellagh

niartist said...

WOW! A green river huh? Back in Texas that was a normal thing! LOL! I've got some updates from the bathroom posted I thought you might like to see! Hope you can get by to check them out soon! Talk to you then! Artie

Chari at Happy To Design said...

Hi Jane...

Ohhh my...I had no idea that Chicago went all out for St. Patrick's Day! The green river...fabulous!!! I can't even imagine! What fun it must be to celebrate St. Pat's Day there...and to think you live so close to the parade route...that's awesome! Thank you so much for taking us along to enjoy a few of Chicago's festivities...it may be my only chance to do so! Such a fun post, Jane!!!

I also wanted to thank you for coming by and taking a peek at my cherub/apothecary vignette and for leaving such a sweet note! I always enjoy your visits, my friend!!!

Have a fabulous day!
Chari @Happy To Design

Lisa ~ A Cottage to Me said...

Wow, I have never seen that! What fun! Thank you for stopping by my blog today! I appreciate your words of friendship. My husband use that same quote, Take the high road! That works sometimes, but sometimes you have to stand up for yourself too! And he's an only child, I'm the youngest of 6!
Thanks again, have a wonderful day!

Sweet Cottage Dreams said...

I had no idea that such festivities went on in Chicago. And that green river? WOW! I am a quarter Irish with some English and Scottish ancestry, too.

Looks like a fun St. Paddy's day! Hope you enjoyed the day!

Becky
xo

Monica@The White Bench said...

Jane,
THANK YOU for sharing these pictures! They're absolutely fascinating!
Kim and I I love the cute puppy in green...;)))
Hugs,
Monicaxo.

Amy said...

Stopping by. Nancy from Linens and Laurel sent me over. We are traveling to Chicago next week. Checking things out. Thanks for sharing.. luv how they die that water!