It’s Back: South Side Irish Parade To Return

CHICAGO (STMW) – Nearly three years after it was scrapped because it had morphed into a beer-drenched, arrest-filled nightmare for Beverly and other neighborhoods on the far Southwest Side, the South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade appears to be coming back.

The Chicago Department of Transportation has issued a permit to the parade committee, meaning the parade will again march down Western Avenue on March 11, committee chairman Joe Connelly said late Friday. Organizers vow the parade will be family-friendly with a zero-tolerance policy for alcohol use by anyone.

The city’s decision to approve the parade’s permit was somewhat of a surprise because Ald. Matt O’Shea (19th) staunchly opposed the plan and even wrote Mayor Rahm Emanuel in an effort to block its return. On Monday, O’Shea sent a letter to Emanuel expressing his dissatisfaction with recent parades which, he wrote, had become “rowdy, drunken, and often violent.”

But after receiving assurances from the parade committee that strict crowd control policies would be in place, the city approved the permit Thursday, Department of Transportation spokesman Pete Scales said.

“We share the same concerns as Ald. O’Shea,” Scales said. “The parade committee needs to work with the police to come up with a real security plan that ensures the safety of the neighborhood during the event.”

The parade committee is well aware of the safety concerns, Connelly said, and has hired a private security firm to work with Chicago police during the parade. Local merchants donated $80,000 to hire S3 Safety Service Systems, a company that provides security for Bears games, Connelly said.

“Safety is paramount to our plan,” Connelly said. “We are serious about having a zero-tolerance alcohol police, and that’s for everybody. Our intent is to have an alcohol-free parade.”

Police and the security company will install “an exterior boundary” for the parade route, he said. Coolers and bags will be checked for alcoholic beverages, he said.

“It’s no different than what they do at Taste of Chicago,” he said.

© Sun-Times Media Wire Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

  • CFLC

    Maybe the city should schedule a belated St. Patrick’s day parade at the same time as Nato/G8. Maybe include Taste of Chicago, a few art fairs, Air and Water show, Bud Billikin Parade, and some concerts for the protesters. Might as well add more Chicago flavor to Nato G8, Chicago can handle it.

  • southsideirishsuck

    WHO CARES it’s a Parade to celebrate a country of Drunks

  • Tommy

    southsideirishsuck since you don’t like Ireland maybe we should celebrate an entire continent, the continent of Africa, that does NOT have one superhighway, does NOT have one Fortune 500 multinational corporation, does NOT have one major air carrier, and does NOT have one auto manufacturer or ship builder, and whose people even when off the continent of Africa for generations are the most violent people on the face of the Earth. Would that make you happy?

    • Lyndia

      Tommy I do not recall Ireland having much of @hit. The Catholics have been kicking the hell out of the prostants for ions AND THEY ARE ALL WHITE. ISN’T THAT THE LONGEST WAR? Africa may be lacking a lot of things that they would have if the Europeans had never step foot on that continent. I am sure the Indians would be enjoying this land right now if the europeans had never set foot on it. South America has not advanced at far as it could have thanks to the white man. The world was doing ok until the cave man came out of the cave. (Is that why you people can take the extreme cold so well?) Oh Ya, The most violent people in the world you say? Who could be more violent that that nasty azz white man? Everywhere they go, it is never any peace. NEVER.

      • Afro

        Lyndia get your head out of your ass and quit living in the past look at whats happening now

    • southsideirishsuck

      I’m actually German you dumb*ss drunk M*ck!!

      • Tired of Sh!t talking @ss holes

        No drunks in Germany ‘eh @ ss hole?? Go fuk yourself!!!

    • Afro

      They took it down so I’ll say it again.


      Look at those kind running around with guns shooting each other every day and not a word is said other than “No one is in custody for the shootings.”

      Or women being dragged from their cars and raped or dragged off to a near by building and raped or raped and beatin in the middle of parking lots. Doing something about rape would infrenge upon the rights of the protected species to breed.

      Busting loose, Havin a beer and a fair fight all in good sport once a year isn’t so bad.

      and I couldn’t agree more.


  • Just Axin

    Lyndia- Hey, you could be my special guest…..let’s go!

    • Lyndia


      • dan

        Of course you are game. Such a ho.

    • Afro

      Dam you thought of it first


      • Lyndia

        You be giving me the drink and I be going.

  • Drunk And Stupid With A Badge

    Morphed into a beer-drenched, arrest-filled nightmare ?????. That is ok for the Police, but what about the crowds?????.

  • Micheal Savage

    Well the crooked,lying drunken irish got their way again,now its only January 14 and here comes St, Patricks DAY,this is not Ireland this is America,every year we hear about ST. Patricks DAY more and more,give some others some time.

    • Afro

      I’d rather see America turn Irish than African we don’t need all the whites hating each other like the blacks do.

  • workingman

    Keep it in chicago Dont let this overflow in to Evergreen Park Chicago keep yours drunks

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