Cultural Heritage and Traditions

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Mar 17 2021

Birds-eye view of the St. Patrick's Day parade and dyeing of the Chicago River in Chicago, 1962.

St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago is a renowned event rooted in cherished traditions. With not one but two St. Patrick’s Day parades, dyeing the Chicago River, and enjoying a green beer or two, Chicagoans know how to celebrate this beloved holiday.

While our celebrations will likely look different this year, we’re not missing the chance to honor the rich history behind one of our city’s favorite holidays. Tune in to WTTW Chicago tonight at 8:00 p.m. for “Labor of Love: A St. Patrick’s Day Special,” featuring fascinating insight on the history of Chicago’s Irish communities from Peter T. Alter, CHM’s chief historian and director of the Studs Terkel Center for Oral History. The WTTW original documentary reveals how the Chicago Journeymen Plumbers Local 130, UA, became involved in organizing the city’s downtown St. Patrick’s Day parade, how the dyeing of the Chicago River became a global event, the process behind the crowning of the queen and the selection of the grand marshal, and what it means to be Irish. You won’t want to miss it!

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