Chicago's South Side Irish St. Patrick's Day Parade returning this year

After a two-year hiatus, the South Side Irish Parade is back.

A beloved tradition, its cancelation each of the past two years really stung.

"This is a huge deal for my community," said 19th ward Alderman Matt O'Shea. "These past two years have been difficult for everyone, including missing the last two parades."

Expect dozens of floats, plenty of Irish music and dance, and between 100,000 and 150,000 spectators.

"It brings family, friends, neighbors and people from all walks of life to celebrate family, faith and heritage," said O'Shea. "We always joke out here that on parade day, everyone's Irish for one day."


Parade organizers decided to bring it back after seeing a streak of safe, successful large scale outdoor events in 2021.

"What you've seen with sports – Bears games, baseball, White Sox – is that they've been able to have those events outside where people could still be masked, still be safe and enjoy the entertainment that they're having," said Parade Chairman Don Larisey, who says the parade will follow whatever COVID safety protocols are recommended by public health officials.

"We'll encourage everyone to follow some protocols to keep not only themselves but other people safe, and be able to celebrate some of the things we haven't been able to do over the last two years," Larisey added.

The parade is scheduled to step off at the corner of 103rd and Western on Sunday, March 13.

In lieu of last year's parade, a "Shamrock our Blocks" home decorating competition was held.

"Just like one would decorate their front lawn or front yard for Christmas, we’re going to do the same thing for what would’ve been the South Side Irish Parade," South Side Irish Parade co-chair Tim McSweeney said.

Organizers say there will be similar bonus events this year for those who want to avoid large crowds.