03/17/2012 09:48 am ET Updated Mar 18, 2012

St. Patrick's Day In Chicago Through The Years: Politicians, Bagpipes & A Green River (PHOTOS)

Updated story

St. Patrick's Day has long been a festive time to find oneself in Chicago.

In a tradition that dates back five decades, the city each year marks the holiday by dyeing the Chicago River green, followed by staging a parade. Coupled with the long history of the South Side Irish Parade, which returned this year after a two-year absence, the city's celebration is a multi-day affair.

In addition to being known for more traditional Irish entertainment -- step dancers, bagpipe players and more -- the parades also have a reputation of attracting big political names, both local and national. Through the years, names like Clinton, Gore, Bush and Kennedy have all made appearances. The Daleys, of course, were also big proponents of the event.

View photos and video from the 2012 St. Patrick's Day celebration in Chicago.

Be sure to check out our picks for things to do over the St. Patrick's Day weekend and scroll down to view photos over the many years of the holiday being celebrated in the Windy City:

St. Patrick's Day In Chicago Through The Years