Downtown St. Pat's parade to step off Saturday

March 11, 2010 10:39:09 AM PST
It's the one weekend in Chicago where everyone becomes Irish. There will be plenty of St. Patrick's Day celebrations. Topping the list is the downtown parade! Saturday brings the luck of the Irish to Chicago with the Downtown St. Patrick's Day Parade. It steps off at noon from Columbus and Balbo, traveling north to Monroe. Click here to view the parade route.

But first, the traditional dyeing of the Chicago River will take place at 10:45 a.m. The parade's Web site says the best place to see the dyeing is the intersection of Michigan Ave. and Wacker Drive at the river. Click here to see photos and videos of last year's river dyeing.

Following the parade, the Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 North Knox Avenue, Chicago, will host a St. Patrick's Day festival with plenty of fun and performances from the Trinity Irish Dancers, among other acts.

ABC7 will broadcast the parade Sunday, March 14, at 11 a.m.

Fun Facts:
This year's parade Queen is Kerry Ann Brennan, 24, of Orland Park.

The Grand Marshal for this year is Bob Ryan, "the Voice" of the St. Patrick's Day Parade who has been announcing the parade for more than three decades.

The official parade guest of honor is Pat Fitzgerald, head coach of the Northwestern Wildcats football team.

Mr. Food will be marching in the parade, along with Mark Giangreco, Tracy Butler, Ravi Baichwal, Stacey Baca and Mike Caplan.

This year's parade includes 27 bands, 70 floats, thousands of marchers and a few leprechauns.

The parade always occurs on a Saturday. If Saint Patrick's Day does not fall on a Saturday, the parade is held the Saturday before.

The parade always steps off at noon.