Chicago Celebrates St. Patrick’s Day

March 15, 2010 12:12 pm

Chicago takes St. Patrick’s Day seriously — few other cities’ residents eagerly awake in the early morning to drink green beer at a bar that opened at 9 a.m. before watching men in speed boats dye two blocks worth of a river bright green. So of course, we brought our video cameras to document this year’s overcast celebration. Check out our footage of the annual parade on Columbus Avenue and the dyeing of the Chicago River (which isn’t sponsored by the city, but is instead a tradition of the Plumbers Local Union 130 since 2007), as well as some celebration scenes from around the city.

Maybe it’s because we didn’t start the day with green beer, but we thought St. Patty’s was particularly outrageous. We saw:

  • Roughly 40 children under the age of 14 carrying green balloons two feet long
  • A word-slurring man with a clear 7-Eleven Big Gulp cup full of beer, shouting at the parade queen as her float passed
  • Way too many ridiculous green hats, including one that was shaped like a large mug of beer
  • A teenager watching the parade from atop another teenager’s shoulders in a shirt that read “Kiss me I’m sober”
  • A middle-aged woman who took off her green plastic hat and lovingly placed it on an iron fence post
  • A decked out group of all ages and sizes jumping and kicking in a circle to the sounds of a bagpipe in Millennium Park

So did Chicago make St. Patrick proud? Let’s start with a different question: Who was St. Patrick? Well, we did some digging and it turns out he was a Scot who was kidnapped and thrown into slavery in Ireland at age 14. Apparently, he ended up converting the entire country from paganism. And a side perk for the Irish: He banished all snakes from the island, according to legend, although pretty much all scientists agree Ireland didn’t have any snakes at the time. He was never officially canonized by a pope, which means he’s not even officially a saint, and what we’re celebrating on the Saturday before March 17 every year is actually his death. We all know, though, that it’s really an excuse to celebrate all things Irish. Sláinte!

Tara and Karina for TKGO

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