South Side Irish Parade Survival Guide

Parade Day is almost upon us. Don't worry, we've got your back.

The South Side Irish Parade is this weekend and we here at Patch have pulled together everything you need to know to make the most of the best parade in Chicago. 

The Details

  • When: The parade starts at noon on Sunday, March 10
  • Where: Western Avenue in Chicago's Beverly neighborhood. The parade will begin at 103rd Street and will run all the way to 115th Street. 

The Mass

The official pre-parade Mass will be held at 9 a.m. at Saint Cajetan Church.

The Race

For the first time this year a one mile run down Western Avenue will be held before the start of the parade. The Emerald Isle Mile kicks off at 11 a.m.


Street closures start at 6 a.m. on parade day and last until 3 p.m. There will be no street parking on the east side of Artesian from 103rd to 111th or on the west side of Claremont from 103rd to 107th. Side streets will also be closed in the area around the parade route. If you are driving, wear comfortable shoes because you'll have to do some walking. Find a full map of the closures. 


The parade had a two-year hiatus after rowdy crowds and heavy drinking put a damper on the onetime family event. When the parade returned last year it was with a strict no drinking policy. Police and private security personnel will be out in full force stopping anyone with alcohol. The Chicago City Council even passed a new ordinance last month that imposes harsher punishment on those caught boozing. You will also be banned from having alcohol on the Rock Island Metra before the parade. 

Anyone who witnesses a crime or encounters drunk behavior during the parade should call 911. 

Grand Marshals

This year's grand marshals will be Chicago area first responders including the families of the recently fallen Fire Captain Herbie Johnson, Police Officer Michael Flisk, and

Pro Tips

You will want to claim your spot on Western Avenue early before the parade steps off. Wear comfortable shoes because unless you live close to the parade route you'll likely be doing some walking. Green attire is a must.

The Forecast

It doesn't look like we are in store for another sunny spring day this year. However, temperatures are supposed to warm up by Sunday with an anticipated high of 47 degrees. Rain appears likely so you will want to pack an umbrella.

After the Parade

While you are out and about it make it a point to stop in at a local business and give back to the merchants who support the event. You can buy a cup of fresh roasted coffee or a great dessert at Beverly Bakery or make a list of new stores that you want to stop back and visit. If the bar scene is for you, there are plenty of fine Irish taverns on the west side of the street to choose from. Just remember that you are in a neighborhood, not frat row.  

Get Your Green On

If you need to pick up some great Irish hear before the parade, the South Side Irish Parade Committee's store, 10934 S. Western Ave., will be open on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and has all the official gear. You should also check out South Side Irish Imports, 3446 W 111th St., for a wide variety of clothing. 

The Rest

Follow Beverly-Mt. Greenwood Patch on Facebook and Twitter throughout the day to see parade pictures and observations in real time. If you see someone with a Patch shirt on, stop and say hi. We'll put your picture on the site and if your lucky have some Patch goodies for you. 

Updated: Maych 8, 9:50 a.m. 

More Parade News

  • South Side Irish Parade Names Its Queen
  • South Side Irish Parade Parking Restrictions and Safety Measures
  • South Side Irish Parade to Honor First Responders
  • Patch Photo Booth: South Side Irish Pre-Parade Party
  • South Side Irish Pre-Parade Party Highlight Reel
  • Tougher Parade Drinking Restrictions Approved by City Council

Share your tips, thoughts and favorite pre- or post-parade spots in the comments. 

Diane Kois March 11, 2013 at 02:43 AM
Can you please post some of the other pictures that you took?
Diane Kois March 11, 2013 at 02:44 AM
First time on your site! I like your articles but was hoping to see more pictures from the parade.


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