News that the South Side Irish Parade may be returning was greeted with excitement until everyone heard the catch:
The 30-year strong South Side Irish Parade began as a quaint family parade of scout troops, local business floats and high school marching bands with green-dyed hair marching down Western Avenue. Like the annual neighborhood celebration became a victim of its own success, attracting hundreds of thousands of intoxicated celebrants in its later years.
When parade officials could no no longer ensure public safety, the parade was regretfully canceled in 2009. Now it's poised to come back.
Chicago Alderman Matt O’Shea (19th), a former member of the parade committee before he was elected alderman, has already written to Mayor Rahm Emanuel protesting the permit granted by the Chicago Department of Transporation.
In a letter to constituents, O’Shea called the parade committee’s public safety plan sketchy at best, and stated his opposition to the South Side Irish Parade’s resurrection under the current circumstances. You can read O’Shea’s letter here. We’ve also included the pdf of his letter to Mayor Emanuel.
Within seconds of posting the question, “Do you think the South Side Irish Parade can remain alcohol free,” on the Oak Lawn Patch Facebook page, we received nine reader responses. Many readers left comments attesting to copping a buzz responsibly, including not driving.
Here is some of that reader commentary:
“I hope the organizers have better luck keeping the 'kids' more under control than in the last few years.”
“Hell no. Who thinks that?”
“I’m gonna go with no.”
“No, nor should it.”
“Not a chance in hell.”
“The last couple of years they tried to make the parade alcohol free, so people adjusted. They came wasted … Past tradition held that you have a 'buzz' before you get to the parade! We always knew how to do it. Things changed when ‘newbies’ came on buses, trains, etc.”
So what do you think? Take the poll. And even though my byline will be appearing underneath numerous articles this week, I am off the clock until next Monday. Have a great week!