Happy St. Patrick’s Day from the OCI

This year’s updated St. Patrick’s Parade Day Post:

We are happy to host a full house this coming weekend at the Old Chicago Inn. If you are among our guests, you won’t be able to help notice that on Saturday we will all be Irish in honor of St. Patrick’s Parade Day.  In our vibrant neighborhood celebrants start early and go late.  Just about every bar and restaurant in the area will have St. Patrick’s Day specials on parade Saturday, including our sister business, Trader Todd’s, which will have karaoke starting at 11 am, $4 green beers and $5 Corned beef sandwiches.

If you plan to see the parade downtown Saturday morning, the parade steps off at 12 noon.  For the full downtown experience go early and watch the Chicago Journeymen Plumbers dye the Chicago river a brilliant emerald green starting at 9:30 am this year.   For optimal viewing head to Wacker Drive  between Columbus and Wabash.  To get to the parade and river – simply hop on the red line train at Belmont.  Parade goers, you’ll want to find a spot along Columbus anywhere from Balbo (south) to Monroe (north) so exit the train at Monroe, Jackson or Harrison and head east toward the lake, but  if your stopping to view the river first exit at Lake street.

On major holidays, such as St. Patrick’s day, it’s good to allow a little extra time to get around due to increased traffic and pedestrians. Watch for parking restrictions throughout the city and in our area.  I want to remind our guests that Clark St. will have no parking on Saturday, so please avoid parking on Clark as towing will be enforced.  Be sure to carry your ID with you on Saturday – bars and most restaurants will require them for entry.

And, did you remember to pack something green?  If not, the luck of the Irish is still with you, because I am happy to suggest one of our neighborhood favorites for last minute party wear.  Strange Cargo,  a unique vintage clothing and accessory store, is also Chicago’s premier custom T-shirt shop.  Bring your own idea or pick from the several clever suggestions on display and you can walk out with your own customized green St. Patrick’s T-shirt.  What better souvenir to take home?  Be sure to browse the rest of the store while they are lettering your shirt,  as their website says you can find anything from “Converse Chuck Taylors and Whoopee cushions.”  My husband, a self-proclaimed T-shirt poet, and I just love this store; I hope you will too.

Lastly, for those of you spending Saturday night with us, we will be continuing our tradition of providing complimentary St. Patrick’s Survival kit, complete with headache powder and bottled water and mints.  And David will keep the coffee on for an extended hour at breakfast for those of you needed just a little extra time Sunday morning.

If there is anything we can do to make your St. Patrick’s weekend more special just let us know.  And as my grandmother used to say”May the wind be always at your back, and the sun be always on your face.”

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