There are St. Paddy's Day parades, and then there's the annual South Side Irish St. Patrick's Day Parade. Which is, like, the only St. Paddy's Day parade. The cheerful mayhem kicks off at noon Sunday, from 104th Street and Western Avenue. Read more about this parade here.
North Siders still afraid of the South Side can pretend they're getting the real Irish experience at the Chicago St. Patrick's Day Parade, starting at noon Saturday.
Tips for successful parading:
• Dress appropriately and layer up if it is chilly.
• Wear comfortable shoes good for walking as there is limited parking.
• Bring chairs and blankets for folks who cannot stand the parade's two-hour route.
• Get there early. Crowds arrive as early as 9:30 a.m. to get spots close to fences lining Western Avenue.
• For a family-focused crowd, head to the east side of Western Avenue or the west side of the street from 113th to 115th streets.
• To soak up the last warmth of the sun, stay east of the route as the sun dips behind buildings in the west.
• Do not carry open alcohol containers. Better yet, leave the booze at home. (Time Out Chicago has an excellent, in-depth discussion of this issue.)
• Smile pretty for the parade's official photographer roaming the sidelines.