'Green beer does not protect you from COVID': Chicago prepares for restricted St. Patrick's Day 2021 celebrations

CHICAGO (WLS) -- St. Patrick's Day is Chicago's holiday.

"It's going to be different this year," said Amy Gillespie, manager at Lizzie McNeills

After a grueling year that goes without saying, but Saturday will also be the first time bars re-open for any sort of celebration.

"I think a lot more people will be out, the sun will be out," Gillespie said. "People want to celebrate, they want to get out there. And I think if they know there are places they can go to that are following the rules and doing the right thing they'll go and they'll be out."

RELATED: Chicago slowly comes back to life year after pandemic shutdown

However, this will not be a post-pandemic type party as COVID-19 is very much still controlling public health restrictions.

"Green beer does not protect you from COVID," Dr. Allison Arwady, Chicago's top doctor, said Thursday.

For the second straight year the city's St. Patrick's parade won't step off, and liquor control regulators say they've put bars and party buses on notice.

"We've communicated with all of them. They should know the guidelines so if we pop in and you're having a party with a DJ and everybody's dancing, no masks, [the] party is going to be terminated pretty quickly," said Rosa Escareno, commissioner for the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection

After enduring a year of almost no business, many bar managers are perfectly willing to play by the rules and celebrate within the lines.
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