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Downtown Chicago’s 2019 St. Patrick’s Day River Dyeing Ceremony and Parade

March 16


Festivities for Downtown Chicago’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, scheduled for this Saturday, March 16, will kick off at 9am when the Chicago River, between Columbus and State, is transformed to a bright shade of Emerald Green.

In coordination with Alderman Reilly, the Chicago Police Department (CPD), multiple city departments, and event organizers have implemented several security changes for both the River Dyeing and Parade to increase public safety and promote a family-friendly environment.

Information on the River Dyeing Ceremony, Parade, security changes, and traffic impacts can be found below.

Chicago River Dyeing Ceremony

Start Time: 9am on Saturday, March 16
Location: Chicago River between Columbus and State
Updated Viewing Locations: The River Dyeing is best viewed from east of Michigan Avenue, west of Columbus Drive, or Upper and Lower Wacker, between Michigan and Dearborn.

Per CPD, the bridges over the Chicago River will remain open to pedestrian traffic; however, spectators will not be allowed to congregate on the bridges to view the River dyeing.

2019 St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Start Time: 12:00pm (noon) on Saturday, March 16
Parade Route: North on Columbus Drive, between Balbo and Monroe
Admission: FREE
More Information: Visit the Official Website

Updated Parade Viewing Entry Locations:
The only ways to enter the parade viewing area will be along Columbus at Jackson or at Columbus and Ida B. Wells (formally Congress Drive).

• Those wishing to view the parade must pass through security checkpoints where all purses and bags will be checked.
• No coolers or alcoholic beverages will be permitted along the parade route.

The Parade will also be broadcast live and streamed online at ABC7Chicago.

If you are planning to attend any St. Patrick’s Day festivities, or will be traveling in the area during this time, please consider taking public transportation. The CTA will provide increased capacity and more frequent rail service on St. Patrick’s Day. Information is available on the CTA website.

Chicago Riverwalk Access on Saturday, March 16

The Chicago Riverwalk will BE CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC until 11am. The Riverwalk will close promptly at 5pm.

Those wishing to access the Chicago Riverwalk on Saturday, March 16 must enter and exit through one of the following entry points-all other access points will be closed:

• Both Franklin Entrances
• Both LaSalle Entrances
• Both Dearborn Entrances
• East Side of State Street only

Those that require ADA Access or will be using strollers are asked to identify themselves to Riverwalk Security, who will escort them to an ADA access point.

Event security will be searching all bags, and limiting all outside beverages to 8 ounces or less upon entry, and no outside alcohol will be allowed.

Additionally, ALL UNDER BRIDGES of the Chicago Riverwalk will be closed to the public throughout the day, those wishing to move between sections of the Riverwalk must exit and re-enter at another entry point.

Traffic Impacts for River Dyeing and Parade

The following closures are consistent with closures that were implemented in 2018. These closures will be in place for the safety and security of residents, spectators, and participants.

Residents should be advised that all closures associated with the River Dyeing Ceremony and Parade are likely to begin between 8am and 8:30am, unless otherwise noted. The streets will be reopened under the jurisdiction of the Chicago Police Department.

River Dye Street Closures:
The following street closures are likely to remain in place until a majority of the spectators viewing the River Dyeing Ceremony have begun moving to the Parade Viewing Area, approximately 12pm (noon):

Upper and Lower Wacker, from Columbus to Dearborn

• Intersection of Stetson and Wacker

• The Dearborn, State, Wabash, Michigan, and Columbus Drive Bridges will be closed to vehicular traffic

• Dearborn, State, Wabash, Michigan, and Columbus just north of their respective bridges will be closed to vehicular traffic during the River Dye. Local access to residential buildings will be maintained.

Parade Street Closures:
The following street closures are likely to remain in place until the parade has concluded, the streets have been cleaned, and public safety issues subside, approximately 3pm.

Assembly Area:

• Balbo, from Michigan to Lake Shore Drive
• Columbus, from Roosevelt to Balbo

Disbanding Area:

• Monroe, from Columbus to Lake Shore Drive
• Columbus, from Monroe to Randolph

Additional Street Closures Associated with the Parade:

• Columbus, from Roosevelt to Randolph (expected closure beginning at 6am)
• East bound Ida B. Wells (Congress), from Michigan to Columbus
• Jackson, from Michigan Ave to Lake Shore Drive

Michigan Avenue Intermittent Closures:
As in years past, residents should be prepared for the following intermittent closures of Michigan Avenue that may be enacted by CPD or OEMC in real-time for crowd control and public safety following the River Dyeing Ceremony and following the Parade:

• Michigan, from Lake to Wacker
• Michigan, from Balbo to Monroe

Residents are encouraged to find alternative routes and leave additional traffic time if using their vehicles on Saturday, March 16.

The Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) will be monitoring activities and weather conditions, as well as deploying traffic control aides to facilitate traffic. Attendees are urged to be considerate of the community and to act responsibly.

Public intoxication is prohibited and will be strictly enforced for the safety of all. The public is urged to remain vigilant and be cognizant of surroundings, especially in crowded areas.

If you notice something suspicious, notify on-site security, call 9-1-1 or call the official toll-free national anti-terrorism number at 855-RPRT-2S4 (855-777-8274).

Click here to view the OEMC Notice for St. Patrick’s Day River Dyeing Ceremony and Parade.

Source:  Alderman Reilly Reports 3/15/19


March 16