Chicago loves St. Patrick's Day, so much there are two parades. There's the Chicago St. Patrick's Day Parade through Grant Park, and there's also the South Side Irish parade. The whole city turns Irish in March, and nowhere is that more true than the Irish enclave of Beverly.
What started off as a couple of friends gathering some neighborhood kids and marching them through the streets has become a forty-year tradition. It began in 1979 when George Hendry and Pat Coakley and their wives invited 17 children to march on the sidewalks around the 10900 blocks of Washtenaw and Talman. These "Wee Folks of Washtenaw and Talman" were the first participants in this inaugural South Side Irish St. Pat’s Parade. The next year it was moved to the streets, and the rest, as they say, is history.
While it had a reputation as party-central several years ago, they've cleaned that up and it's now family-friendly and no liquor is allowed on the street (and they will be checking).
The parade kicks off Sunday, March 11, at noon from 103rd and Western and will proceed down Western to 115th Street. Just before the parade, the 2018 Emerald Isle Mile will run the route in a 1-mile timed race. Visit southsideirishparade.org for complete details.
Photos: Kate Gardiner