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 The South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade once again took to the streets of Chicago’s Beverly and Morgan Park neighborhoods on Sunday, March 11. Led by Grand Marshal, Special Olympics Chicago, marchers set off down Western Avenue atop decorative floats to the familiar sound of bagpipes. Spectators packed the route to cheer them on, making the family-friendly event the largest neighborhood-based St. Patrick’s Day Parade outside of Ireland.

This year marked an important milestone for the South Side Irish Committee, as they celebrate their 40th annual parade. It was also a symbolic march for Special Olympics Chicago who are celebrating 50 years as an organization this year. Special Olympics Chicago plays an important part in the city, offering athletic training and competition to children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

“This was a milestone year for the South Side Irish parade and we were pleased to be joined by a wonderful organization like Special Olympics Chicago who are preparing to celebrate a milestone of their own throughout the year,” said Ed Haggerty, co-chair of the South Side Irish Parade Committee.


This year’s parade Honoree was Amyloidosis Support Groups and the Martin McGarry family. McGarry, a longtime Beverly resident, passed away earlier this year after battling familial amyloidosis. McGarry was a former Golden Gloves Boxing champion and operated McGarry's Boxing Club. Amyloidosis is a rare disease caused by deposits of amyloid protein fibrils in one or more organs causing the organ to malfunction. Amyloidosis Support Groups is a nonprofit organization is dedicated to the support, education and empowerment of Amyloidosis patients, caregivers and former caregivers.

“Martin really represented what this community is all about and we are grateful we were able to honor his legacy today,” added Haggerty.

The parade featured over 100 entries including the Chicago Police Honor Guard who honored the late Commander Paul Bauer. Crowds enjoyed 16 pipe bands and marching bands, Irish Dancers, festive floats representing community organizations and the 50 member Duhallow Choral Society from Kanturk, Ireland.Parade-goers were also graced with the presence of 2018 South Side Irish Parade Queen Colleen Krahn and 2017 Rose of Tralee Teresa Daly.
 
No arrests or incidents were reported along the parade route.

About The South Side Irish Parade
The parade is operated by the South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Heritage Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, where more than 100 volunteers work year round to ensure this family-friendly celebration continues for future generations. The South Side Irish Parade is generously supported by sponsors including Lakeshore Beverage, AARP, IUOE Local 399, County Fair Foods, The Beverly Review, South Side Irish Imports, Raising Cane’s, Team Hochberg at PERL Mortgage, the Chicago White Sox, Haribo, ComEd, Blake Lamb Funeral Home and the Illinois Lottery.

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