St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Crowd at the Parade

I braved the crowds on Saturday morning to go see the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Grant Park. There were so many people it was hard to see anything, but I was right near the Marshalls’ stand and it was entertaining to just listen to the guys announce each group with a chummy familiarity.

But the whole day gave me the sad feeling that St. Patrick’s Day is joining the ranks of the generic Get Drunk, Act Dumb, and Pee in Public holidays, distinguishable only by the color of the feather boas, beads, “Dr. Suess” rave hats, and wigs that people are wearing and which drinks are on special at the bars. Here’s a handy chart for you:

Color(s) Drink Special Holiday
Green & Purple


Mardi Gras

Silver & Gold


New Year’s Eve

Red, White, & Blue

Sam Adams

July 4


Regular drink given
a “ghoulish” pun name




St. Patrick’s Day

8 Comments so far

  1. Laurie (unregistered) on March 18th, 2007 @ 11:07 pm

    Actually, the colors of Mardi Gras are purple, green, and gold. Seems a little odd to include that holiday here, as it is only really celebrated in one place (a place that is not Chicago), unlike the others.

  2. Dan Telfer (unregistered) on March 19th, 2007 @ 7:01 am

    I’ve seen plenty of drunk dummies wearing the official Mardi Gras colors in Lakeview and Wrigleyville that time of year.

  3. K. (unregistered) on March 19th, 2007 @ 7:58 am

    Don’t foget Cinco de Mayo, which is rapidly becoming May’s version of St. Patrick’s Day. I wonder if that is everywhere, or just here in Chicago, where people are excited about being drunk and stupid in warm weather?

  4. jack03 (unregistered) on March 19th, 2007 @ 9:34 am

    to include mardi gras means that you must not have ever actually gone to mardi gras. anyone walking around chicago drunk on that day may be a drunken idiot, but it is not mardi gras unless you are in new orleans. sure there is a lot of drinking, but it is also a family holiday with by far the best parades you will ever see. And unless you join the hoards on bourbon street you will most likely not find anyone falling down drunk at midday, which I did see in chicago saturday.

  5. Fuzzy (unregistered) on March 19th, 2007 @ 9:47 am

    To be clear, I’m not saying that there aren’t people who understand and appreciate the real reasons and meanings of each of these holidays. Mardi Gras in New Orleans is a wonderful time. But I’m saying that there are plenty more people, across the country, who view any holiday as a chance to get slockered while wearing a crazy hat.

  6. Dan Telfer (unregistered) on March 19th, 2007 @ 10:34 am

    I’m pretty sure there are drunken hordes wearing pastels and bunny ears and passing out on people’s lawns on Easter in certain neighborhoods. Poor St. Patrick’s Day! The 2-3% of me that is Irish weeps.

  7. steven (unregistered) on March 19th, 2007 @ 11:04 am

    I’d like to know when St. Patty’s Day became an all day drinking fest, with people heading to the bars at 9am. Was it always this way?

  8. Willy (unregistered) on March 20th, 2007 @ 12:10 pm

    Steven-Do some research and you’ll find the answer to your question is ‘no’.

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