By Jim Williams

CHICAGO (CBS)– It has been nearly a year since the pandemic shut down virtually all of Chicago.

Now, for a second year in a row, a St. Patrick’s Day tradition has been canceled. As CBS 2’s Jim Williams reported Tuesday, the organizers of the South Side Irish Parade are hoping for a comeback in 2022.

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On the Sunday before St. Patrick’s Day, it’s a grand march down Western Avenue in the Beverly area – and a family reunion.

“Kids who’ve moved away from the South Side to the suburbs or elsewhere in the city, that’s the weekend they come – be with the family, be with mom and dad,” said Tim McSweeney co-chair of the South Side Irish Parade.

Thirty years ago, it’s also where McSweeney met his wife, Julia.

“It’s pretty special in our house,” he said, adding that it has added significance for him “every year.”

But this year, for the second year in a row, the South Side Irish Parade is again canceled – as another casualty of the pandemic.

“The City of Chicago is not issuing parade permits, as everybody knows by now, for the first quarter of this year, so no parade permit, no parade,” McSweeney said. “Very disappointed. Very disappointed. I know my family and friends are disappointed.”

A decade ago, the parade’s future was in doubt. It took a two-year hiatus because of rowdy behavior and dozens of arrests.

“That was a decade ago,” McSweeney said. “The parade so far, the last 10 years, has just been a solid, family-friendly event. We’re very proud of it.

Now, McSweeney says it’s time to prepare for another South Side Irish Parade comeback – March 13, 2022.

“You just have to roll with it. This pandemic has been tough for people all over the world,” he said. “But we’ll survive. We’ll get through it and we’ll be stronger on the other end.”

McSweeney said parade organizers are considering alternative ways to celebrate St Patrick’s Day this year, and suggest checking their Facebook page and their website for updates.
It has been nearly a year since the pandemic shut down virtually all of Chicago.

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Now, for a second year in a row, a St. Patrick’s Day tradition has been canceled. As CBS 2’s Jim Williams reported Tuesday, the organizers of the South Side Irish Parade are hoping for a comeback in 2022.

On the Sunday before St. Patrick’s Day, it’s a grand march down Western Avenue in the Beverly area – and a family reunion.

“Kids who’ve moved away from the South Side to the suburbs or elsewhere in the city, that’s the weekend they come – be with the family, be with mom and dad,” said Tim McSweeney co-chair of the South Side Irish Parade.

Thirty years ago, it’s also where McSweeney met his wife, Julia.

“It’s pretty special in our house,” he said, adding that it has added significance for him “every year.”

But this year, for the second year in a row, the South Side Irish Parade is again canceled – as another casualty of the pandemic.

“The City of Chicago is not issuing parade permits, as everybody knows by now, for the first quarter of this year, so no parade permit, no parade,” McSweeney said. “Very disappointed. Very disappointed. I know my family and friends are disappointed.”

A decade ago, the parade’s future was in doubt. It took a two-year hiatus because of rowdy behavior and dozens of arrests.

“That was a decade ago,” McSweeney said. “The parade so far, the last 10 years, has just been a solid, family-friendly event. We’re very proud of it.

Now, McSweeney says it’s time to prepare for another South Side Irish Parade comeback – March 13, 2022.

“You just have to roll with it. This pandemic has been tough for people all over the world,” he said. “But we’ll survive. We’ll get through it and we’ll be stronger on the other end.”

McSweeney said parade organizers are considering alternative ways to celebrate St Patrick’s Day this year, and suggest checking their Facebook page and their website for updates.

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