By Alex Cichowicz ‘23

The Southside of Chicago has hosted a parade since 1979. This consists of a big celebration as a kickoff to Saint Patricks Day.

On this day, down Western Ave., you will see different types of floats, sponsors, giant balloons, and marching bands. I was lucky enough to march down Western with our own Brother Rice and Mother McAuley Band. When the parade commenced, it was a cold, rainy morning, but by the time it was over, everyone was exhausted and even a little sweaty. Although it can be tiring, it is very worth it and an honor to be in the parade.

Our band director at Brother Rice, Mr. Zach Zielinski, loves attending and being a part of the parades. It brings him back to his days in college and, most of all, his years in the band at Rice. He enjoys supporting us by walking directly by our side in the parade and seeing us grow as musicians.

Mr. Z said, “The South Side Irish Parade is easily one of my favorite times of the year! It’s always a blast marching down Western being able to give back to the community that gives us so much. You can always catch us ‘Shipping Up to Boston’ the Sunday before St. Pat’s!”

There is one place where many people in the Beverly Area go to purchase their corned beef. That store is County Fair, a super market down Western Ave.

An employee of County Fair and current student of Mother McAuley High School, Ella Devine ‘24 said, “When the corned beef comes out people come flying in. County Fair is one of the only places where you can buy bulk style corned beef. Many people go crazy for it.”

The Friday and Saturday before the parade are one of the busiest times in the year. On those days County Fair sold over five tons of corned beef and will continue to sell more.

Each year there is a South Side Irish Parade Queen. This year Nora Doyle had the honor to be the parade queen. She grew up in the Beverly area and is an alumna of St. Cajetan and Marist High School.

We will forever cherish the parade and the joy that it brings all of our family and friends around us. The South Side Irish Parade will always be something we can look forward to in March for years to come.