Thursday, March 15, 2012

Your St. Patrick's Day Itinerary

8am: It begins! Start your day with a traditional Irish breakfast(Bangers? Brown pudding? Your regular bowl of oatmeal with a touch of green food coloring?) and maybe a mimosa or two. Add some Baileys to your coffee...maybe just enough to make you less afraid of the mass of human traffic that awaits you on public transportation later this morning.

10:45am: Head downtown to watch your favorite Chicago River get dyed a bright shade of St. Patrick's Day green. The audience generally responds to this event as enthusiastically as they do to anything that happens in a Bulls game.

12pm: If you have survived the crowds at the River, you will now be rewarded with more crowds at the massive parade. More info here! If you are staying at the hostel, you will already be located super close to the start of the parade near Buckingham Fountain.

1pm (or whenever you manage to break away from the herd): You will no longer be feeling the effects of your early morning dose of Baileys, so head on over to one of the many Irish pubs that will be churning out Guinness faster than even Irish folks can drink it. The epic St. Patty's Crawl makes sure to stop by all the big ones.

Also 1pm: St. Patrick's Festival at the Irish American Heritage Center. If you can't make it to Ireland, might as well get as close as you can!

2pm: Shoreline Cruise. Irish buffet? Cash bar? Tour of the river with bits of Irish history sprinkled in? Is there anything to dislike?

Sometime in the afternoon: A nap?

8pm: Riverdance show! It might be nice to sit down after running around all day in the sun, and Riverdance is leaving Chicago soon, so this might be your last chance to catch it.

BONUS: If you didn't get enough of the holiday by the time Sunday morning rolls around and you feel the need to keep celebrating all things Irish, check out these belated St. Patrick's Day events around the city:

5k and 8k run/walk on March 18: You'll need to do something to counteract all of that Guinness, let's be honest.

Soda Bread Contest in Oak Park on March 24: This looks really cool. If you can bake, you should probably participate in this immediately.

AND REMEMBER: Let's be as safe as possible, guys. Know your limits and look out for your friends. Here's some good info to have in mind whenever you know you'll be drinking, and also make sure not to get too dehydrated while you're running around -- it's supposed to be pretty warm on Saturday!

*Photo credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
*Written by Jackie DesForges, Communications Strategies Intern

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