41st South Side Irish Parade Steps Off Sunday, On St. Patrick's Day

Bernie Tafoya
March 15, 2019 - 9:45 am
South Side Irish Parade

WBBM Newsradio/Jim Gudas

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Saturday is the city’s St. Patrick’s Day parade downtown, but on Sunday, St. Patrick’s Day itself, the South Side Irish Parade will take place in the Beverly/Morgan Park community. 

Sunday is the 41st year for the South Side Irish Parade and Tim McSweeney of the parade organizing committee said, "There’s definitely a buzz in the neighborhood. Everyone is really looking forward to a big day."

McSweeney said the two hour parade down Western Avenue from 103rd to 115th streets, that steps off at noon, will feature over 100 entries including family floats, 15 bagpipe and marching bands and community organizations. McSweeney said the brass band Environmental Encroachment will add some New Orleans flavor to the parade. Politicians are relegated to the back of the parade, for the most part. He said he expects at least one of the two candidates for mayor to attend.

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Plus, the original Baby Buggy parade float from the first South Side Irish Parade in 1979 will make an appearance.

"To the community, it’s like Christmas and your birthday," McSweeney said.

South Side Irish Parade
WBBM Newsradio/Jim Gudas

McSweeney said the parade, for the last several years has been very family-friendly. No alcohol is allowed along the parade route. Police will have security checkpoints.

This year’s honoree is the group, Choose Kind and the Grand Marshal is Honor Flight Chicago.

McSweeney points out that Metra has added Rock Island service for people coming from downtown or the south suburbs. 

There will be no street parking on the east side of Artesian from 103rd to 111th beginning at 8:00 a.m. and ending at 3:00 p.m. No parking will be allowed on Western Avenue from 99th to 119th beginning at 6:00 a.m. The South Side Irish Parade also warns that vehicle traffic will be restricted on side streets surrounding Western Avenue from approximately 9:00 a.m. to until 3:00 p.m.