South Side Irish Parade 2012: On Again, Off Again.

South Side Irish Parade 2012: On Again, Off Again.

Chicago, Friday, February 10, 2012. According to the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture, the popular South Side Irish Parade is back on the calendar for 2012.  The parade, which has a storied history (est.1979), has been absent for three years due to drinking and violence that had been increasing yearly and led to injuries among parade-goers and police in 2009.

In a press release, issued Wednesday, the Tourism office calls the parade a go saying,  “An old favorite returns to Chicago’s South Side with a focus on family and Irish heritage.  The Beverly neighborhood parade steps off at 11:30 a.m. on Western Avenue and will run from 103rd to 115th Street on Sunday, March 11, 2012.”

Not so fast, says the city who notes that although the parade committee’s application for the March 11 event has been approved and accepted, a permit will not be granted until organizers prepay for city services that must be in place for the parade. At this point, organizers have raised about half of the $200,000 needed for the permit.  They expect to have little problem raising the the other half and have promised, according to parade committee chairman Joseph Connelly, to make this year’s parade a “safe, family-friendly event.”

So for now, it’s wait and see.

No matter what the outcome of the parade controversy, the South Side Irish Family Fest is a definite go. The Fest, that celebrates Irish culture with live entertainment, crafts, food and beverages will take place at the Beverly Arts Center (2407 West 111th Street) from March 9 through the 11th.

In other parade news, The Official City of  Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade is scheduled for Saturday, March 17, 2012. It is suggested that parade-goers arrive early to get the best viewing spots and to watch as the Chicago River is colored with 45lbs of  environmentally-friendly green dye at 10:45 a.m. (near Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive). The parade steps off at noon featuring colorful parade floats, musicians and dancers on Columbus Drive, beginning at  Balbo Drive and ending at Monroe Drive.

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