Mar 6, 2021

St. Patrick's Day Parade Beverly / Morgan Park


I don't have any idea where this parade took place, and I know I was never aware of any St. Patrick's Day parades as a kid, not even the one downtown. But by golly, this was a production!

When did the parades on Western begin?

Taffy Cannon '66


The Southside Irish parade was started with mothers & kids/baby carriages on Talman & walking around the block.  It grew to a Western Ave event by 1980/81.  And grew and grew.  The promoters & planners raise a lot of money through various fundraisers.  (A personal comment: it is an adult party.). The unions and political groups/politicians are a big part.  Many of the bands are sponsored.  It seems to be bigger than the downtown parade on the Saturday before St Patrick’s Day.

Forget about attending church for an 11AM service... you can’t get home.  The parade was stopped for several years after too much drinking on the streets...people were coming by train to 111th St station & by coach buses from every where already drinking.  Parade started up after that hiatus & now less drinking out on the sidewalks...?  That Sunday the streets get closed off early & lines start near all the bars down Western.

When I work to organize the Memorial Day parade (with no politicians unless they are part of a military/veterans group), I have trouble getting local bands because we can’t pay & with a 3-day weekend & the end of schools, too many conflicts.
Our parade down Longwood is one of the oldest community parades in the city; 3 years ago Gold Star Mothers were our grand marshals; 6 years ago it was Frederick Pennix who survived at Iwo Jima.  But Memorial Day is lost on so many.  It is a time to remember some of our classmates who didn’t come home.

I do, however, enjoy walking to several St Pat parties... beer, corned beef, and lots of good eats, drinks, and discussions with neighbors and friends in the community.  Can’t do much else in the neighborhood that day.

Carol Macola

My parents lived in the Smith Home on Western. All the residents
enjoyed watching it - and everyone understood not to try to drive there before or during the event.

Carol, thanks for all your work on the parades over the years.  I know my father and the other WWII and Korean War veteran residents enjoyed riding in the parade.

Craig Hullinger

Excerpted From:  - Click to read the full article


The Irish were the first major immigrant group to settle in Chicago. Laborers from Ireland emigrated to the area before the city was even founded in order to work on the Illinois and Michigan Canal

South Side Irish St. Patrick's Day Parade bagpipes
Bagpipers on the march. Image courtesy of the South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade


According to an article on, there has been a St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Chicago since 1843. The parade centered around Old St. Patrick’s Church, in what is now the West Loop. 

The first South Side St. Patrick’s Day Parade was held in the Gresham neighborhood in 1951. The South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade was reborn on a very small scale in 1979. Two friends, George Hendry and Pat Coakley, recalled the Southtown Parades of their youths and decided to recreate it in Morgan Park. The initial parade featured only 17 marchers, all neighborhood children, but the idea quickly caught fire.

Outside a brief interregnum from 2009-12, the South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade has run down Western Avenue in Beverly and Morgan Park since 1981. Over 200,000 spectators view the parade despite a strict prohibition on alcohol. Many attendees bookend the parade with mass at St. Cajetan Church beforehand and a house party afterwards.

-Alex Bean, Chicago Detours Content Manager and Tour Guide

Mar 1, 2019 — South Side Irish Parade Steps Off on StPat's Day ... “Beverly/Morgan Park and Mount Greenwood residents open up their hearts and homes, ...
Feb 28, 2020 — The South Side Irish StPatrick's Day Parade Committee, co-chaired this ... Beverly/Morgan Park residents George Hendry and Pat Coakley.
Mar 9, 2020 — But for residents of BeverlyMorgan Park, the entire South Side and ... best StPatrick's Day neighborhood celebration outside of Ireland itself.
Beverlymorganpark - beverlymorganpark. beverly+chicago | Time to Discover Beverly Hills, Morgan Park Chicago! StPatrick's Day Tradition: Watch a St.
Oct 24, 2020 — ... Parade in the Beverly-Morgan Park neighborhoods in the southern region of Chicago, Illinois. This event takes place around StPatrick Day.
Mar 26, 2009 — When the first South Side Irish StPatrick's Day Parade passed Michael ... of the Beverly and Morgan Park neighborhoods that they reached the ...
Feb 2, 2021 — Chicago's two big Saint Patrick's Day parades are canceled for the ... Irish Parade traditionally marches down Western Avenue in the Beverly ...
St. Walter Roman Catholic Church – Morgan Park, Chicago, IL · At the southern tip of ... Countdown to StPatrick's Day – Irish Sites in Beverly · With StPatrick's ...
Mar 11, 2016 — It starts in Beverly at 103rd Street and travels down Western Avenue to 115th Street in Morgan Park. An estimated 200,000 spectators are ...
Feb 28, 2017 — It starts in Beverly at 103rd Street and travels down Western Avenue to 115th Street in Morgan Park. An estimated 200,000 spectators are ...

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