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(l to r): 2017 Queen Shannon Zofkie, 2018 Queen Colleen Krahn. Photo by Kim Swanson

St. Patrick Events

CHICAGO - February 7, 2018 - The South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee announces Colleen Krahn will serve as the 2018 South Side Irish Parade Queen. Krahn, 26, is from Mount Greenwood and an alumna of Queen of Martyrs School, Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School and St. Ambrose University. Currently, Krahn works as a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines.

Krahn was one of 9 candidates who took part in the selection process held during the South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Pre-Parade fundraising party on Saturday, February 3 at 115 Bourbon Street. The event raised funds to support the annual march down Western Avenue. The Queen will be prominently featured in the South Side Irish Parade on Sunday, March 11 and will also ride in the downtown Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

"The South Side Irish Parade has always been a huge part of my life and I’m honored to be a part of this year’s celebration,” said Krahn. “Growing up my family started parade day with mass at Queen of Martyrs before heading up to Western Avenue to watch the parade rain or shine,” added Krahn.

All Parade Queen candidates were interviewed individually by a panel of independent judges including 2015 South Side Irish Queen Mary Kate Love, 2014 South Side Irish Queen Maeve McSweeney and 2013 South Side Irish Queen Margaret McGann. Also in attendance were 2016 South Side Irish Queen Alison Kelly,  2017 South Side Irish Queen Shannon Zofkie and 2017 Chicago Rose of Tralee Teresa Daly.

“I know Colleen is very dedicated to the South Side Irish community and we are thrilled to have her serve as this year’s Parade Queen,” said Mary Kay Gavin-Marmo, Executive Director of the Professional Irish Women of Chicago Organization and Director of the South Side Irish Queen Contest.

The South Side Irish Parade Queen will also receive sponsorship from the South Side Irish Parade Committee to compete in the Chicago Rose of Tralee Selection as the South Side Irish Rose. This selection process will take place on April 7, 2018, at Ridge Country Club. 

The mission of the Chicago Rose of Tralee is to provide enrichment opportunities that will encourage young women of Irish descent to be exemplary role models for tomorrow’s youth and to make a positive difference in the world. The winner of the Chicago Rose of Tralee will receive an all-expense paid trip to Ireland for an experience of a lifetime and represent Chicago in a two-night televised event in Tralee, Ireland. For more information or application for the Chicago Rose of Tralee visit www.chicagoroseoftralee.com.

Ways To Support The Parade:
Honor your family or business by purchasing a Western Avenue street pole banner. The banners will line Western Avenue and surrounding streets throughout the month of March. For more information on purchasing Western Avenue street pole banners and parade merchandise visit southsideirishparade.org.

The parade’s organizing committee will honor their Grand Marshall by making a march of their own, into frigid Lake Michigan for the Special Olympics Chicago’s annual Polar Plunge. The committee is recruiting participants to join their “South Side Irish Pats On Parade” team. With only Irish-pride warming their hearts, these brave team members will take the plunge into the freezing water off the shore of North Avenue beach on Sunday, March 4, 2018. The parade committee plans for 40 people on their plunge team, a nod to the 40th annual parade this year. All the “Plunging Pats” will be asked to raise $200 to support Special Olympics Chicago. Participants can sign up by visiting Here:

The South Side Irish Parade Film Fest will take place at the Beverly Art Center on Saturday, March 3, 2018. The Film Fest will feature an afternoon matinee, an evening feature film and film shorts. Visit www.beverlyartcenter.org for tickets.

About The South Side Irish Parade:
This year marks the 40th Annual South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The parade will step off at noon on Sunday, March 11, from 103rd and Western in Chicago’s Beverly/Morgan Park neighborhood. Special Olympics Chicago will serve as this year’s Grand Marshal and Amyloidosis Support Groups and the Martin McGarry family will be the 2018 Parade Honoree. 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
CJ Wilson Mazda
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
Blake Lamb Funeral Home.

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