By Tara Molina

CHICAGO (CBS) — With city and state health officials urging people not to gather in celebration, like many chose to last year, CBS 2 found event after event is still on for St. Patrick’s Day.

Public events are off, but private events are still on. There are fines of up to $10,000 on the line to make sure those celebrations don’t set us back.
Bar crawls, ticketed parties and more are popping up, planned all over the city.
“We cannot afford to plant the seeds for a fourth wave” said 2nd Ward Ald. Brian Hopkins.
Hopkins said he’s keeping a close eye on those after the city learned a lesson last year.
“Indoors and large gatherings unmasked and drinking beer? It is a recipe to spread COVID,” he said.
He is already in touch with some businesses with ticketed events on the books to make sure they have plans in place.
“If you plan for 50 people and 500 people show up, what do you do at the point?”
But with underground parties popping up, too — not the kind you’d buy a ticket for — this Alderman says, through tips, they’re prepared to do whatever it takes
“We are reaching out to alleged operators and saying, ‘Don’t do it. We will find you. We will shut you down and we will fine you. It’s just not worth the risk,’” he said.
It’s risk bars and restaurants who don’t follow guidelines face, too. They can face fines of up to $10,000 otherwise. Capacity is still limited to the lesser of 50% or 50 people, with six people allowed at a table and face coverings worn at all times, except when eating or drinking.
The Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection released the following statement regarding safety measures:

As Chicago prepares for St. Patricks’ Day, BACP is working with CPD and our partners in the hospitality industry to ensure a safe holiday this year. The City urges all Chicagoans to avoid large parties and gatherings and to celebrate responsibly in order to make sure that St. Patrick’s Day doesn’t reverse the significant progress the city is making in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. While limited indoor dining is allowed and small ticketed events are permitted, residents and businesses are reminded that COVID-19 regulations will be strictly enforced on St. Patrick’s Day and the surrounding weekends. This means that capacity must be limited to the lesser of 50% or 50 people in bars and restaurants, patrons must be seated at no more than 6 per table, and face coverings must be worn at all times except when actively eating or drinking.  BACP will be sharing more information directly with business owners next week to make sure they know how to stay complaint.

CBS 2 checked in with the companies behind most of the planned private events, parties and crawls asking about safety and risk mitigation plans. None of them got back to us.

Tara Molina