Chicago Southside St Patrick’s Day Parade
Written on January 29, 2016
The South Side Irish Parade Committee is pleased to announce the creation of the South Side Irish Parade Family Fest, a culturally-rich St. Patrick’s Day celebration.
The South Side Irish Parade will step off at noon from 103rd and proceed down Western Avenue to 115th Street.
The Emerald Isle Mile, sponsored by Running Excels, begins at 11:30am just prior to the start of the South Side Irish Parade. A portion of the proceeds help offset the cost of the parade. Please visit the Emerald Mile Isle page for complete information.
The South Side Irish Parade is a family-friendly event and has a zero-tolerance policy for alcohol along the parade route. It is strictly enforced in accordance with a City of Chicago ordinance which includes fines up to $1000 for open containers in the public way.
The annual South Side Irish Parade is a great time to spend with family and friends, both in neighborhood homes and local establishments. We encourage everyone to celebrate responsibly and help keep the annual tradition a safe, family friendly event. Many of the Western Avenue restaurants and pubs support the parade and we hope you will support them in a responsible manner helping us ensure everyone has a safe, enjoyable parade. Sláinte!
Please review the Parade Day Parking Restrictions for information on parade day street closures or visit our Facebook page for the latest updates. Parking restrictions will start at 6am on Western Avenue and 8am on side streets. If you are visiting Beverly on parade day, we recommend taking public transportation.
The parade could not be possible without the support of many local businesses. Please check out the supporters of the 2016 parade on our Parade Supporters page and please patronize our sponsors.
Looking back, the Grand Marshals of the 2016 parade were the South Siders Fighting Childhood Cancer. This is a group of four neighborhood charities – Emily Beazley’s Kures for Kids, Live Like John, Pat Mac’s Pack and the Maeve McNicholas Memorial Foundation – who provide support and fundraising to fight pediatric cancer. Our 2016 Community Honoree was the 100 Club of Chicago, which offers financial, emotional and organizational assistance to the families of first responders who have been killed in the line of duty.
In the 2015 parade, the Irish American Labor Council were our Grand Marshals and proudly led the way down Western Avenue. The IALC, a committee of the AFL-CIO, is focused on improving and promoting social and community welfare. The council also participates in issues of importance to Irish immigrants in Chicago.
In addition to the IALC, the 2015 South Side Irish Parade Committee also honored the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation (CPMF), The not-for-profit organization is dedicated to honoring the lives of our fallen heroes. The foundation provides support and assistance to the families of Chicago police officers who are killed or catastrophically injured in the line of duty. The CPMF is currently raising money for the “Get Behind The Vest” initiative
The 2016 South Side Irish Parade Queen was Allison Kelly. Read more about her and out 2016 fundraiser in this article from Patch. The 2015 South Side Irish Parade Queen was Mary Kate Love, a Beverly resident. Read more about her in this article from DNA Info Chicago.
Other participants in last year’s parade included Ireland’s Minister of State for the Diaspora, Mr. Jimmy Deenihan; 2014 Chicago Rose of Tralee, Colleen Nolan; 2014 IHSA Boys Basketball State Champions, Morgan Park High School; Noggeler Marching Band, the 50 member band from Lucerne, Switzerland known for their unique masks and costumes; 16 pipe & marching bands, four Irish Dance schools, Clydesdales, Irish Wolf Hounds, vintage fire trucks and leprechauns.
Saint Patrick is the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland. St Patrick is credited with bringing christianity to Ireland. Most of what is known about him comes from his two works; the Confessio, a spiritual autobiography, and his Epistola, a denunciation of British mistreatment of Irish christians.
According to different versions of his life story it is said that he was born in Britain, around 385AD. His parents Calpurnius and Conchessa were Roman citizens living in either Scotland or Wales. As a boy of 14 he was captured and taken to Ireland where he spent six years in slavery herding sheep. He returned to Ireland in his 30s as a missionary among the Celtic pagans.
Saint Patrick described himself as a “most humble-minded man, pouring forth a continuous paean of thanks to his Maker for having chosen him as the instrument whereby multitudes who had worshipped idols and unclean things had become the people of God.”
Many folk ask the question ‘Why is the Shamrock the National Flower of Ireland ?’ The reason is that St. Patrick used it to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagans. Saint Patrick is believed to have been born in the late fourth century, and is often confused with Palladius, a bishop who was sent by Pope Celestine in 431 to be the first bishop to the Irish believers in Christ.
In the custom known as “drowning the shamrock”, the shamrock that has been worn on a lapel or hat is put in the last drink of the evening.
Saint Patrick is most known for driving the snakes from Ireland. It is true there are no snakes in Ireland, but there probably never have been – the island was separated from the rest of the continent at the end of the Ice Age. As in many old pagan religions, serpent symbols were common and often worshipped. Driving the snakes from Ireland was probably symbolic of putting an end to that pagan practice. While not the first to bring christianity to Ireland, it is Patrick who is said to have encountered the Druids at Tara and abolished their pagan rites. The story holds that he converted the warrior chiefs and princes, baptizing them and thousands of their subjects in the “Holy Wells” that still bear this name.