Sunday, January 15, 2012

IT'SSSS_________BAAAAAAACK !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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The South Side Irish St. Patrick's Day Parade is set to return this year. | File photo
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Updated: January 15, 2012 2:14AM


Nearly three years after it was scrapped because it had morphed into a beer-drenched, arrest-filled nightmare for Chicago’s 19th Ward, the South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade appears to be coming back.
The Chicago Department of Transportation has issued a permit to the parade committee, and the parade again will march down Western Avenue on March 11, committee chairman Joe Connelly said late Friday. Organizers vow the parade will be family-friendly with a zero-tolerance policy for alcohol use by anyone.
Chicago’s move to approve the parade’s permit could be considered surprising because Ald. Matt O’Shea (19th) staunchly opposed the plan and even wrote Mayor Rahm Emanuel in an effort to block its return. On Monday, O’Shea sent a letter to Emanuel expressing his dissatisfaction with recent parades which, he wrote, had become “rowdy, drunken, and often violent.”
But after receiving assurances from the parade committee that strict crowd control policies would be in place, the city approved the permit Thursday, Department of Transportation spokesman Pete Scales said.
“We share the same concerns as Alderman O’Shea,” Scales said. “The parade committee needs to work with the police to come up with a real security plan that ensures the safety of the neighborhood during the event.”
The parade committee is well aware of safety concerns, Connelly said, and has hired a private security firm to work with Chicago police during the parade. Local merchants donated $80,000 to hire S3 Safety Service Systems, a company that provides security for Bears games, Connelly said.
“Safety is paramount to our plan,” Connelly said. “We are serious about having a zero-tolerance alcohol police, and that’s for everybody. Our intent is to have an alcohol-free parade.”
Police and the security company will install “an exterior boundary” for the parade route, he said. Coolers and bags will be checked for alcoholic beverages, he said.
“It’s no different than what they do at Taste of Chicago,” he said.
O’Shea lambasted the committee in an email letter sent Friday to ward residents, saying the security plan consisted of a single sheet of paper with about a dozen bullet points. Connelly, however, said their plan is “30 to 40 pages long.”
After consulting police officials, O’Shea concluded that “this plan is well-intentioned, but terribly insufficient and very difficult to execute.”
O’Shea also wrote the parade cost taxpayers more than $200,000 in 2009. Fundraisers will be held to cover city fees that Connelly said could be about $60,000.
O’Shea, who could not be reached for comment late Friday, did not pull punches in his letter to the mayor, calling the parade “a sometimes lawless event fueled by public drunkenness.” O’Shea wrote that the parade brings 300,000 to 340,000 people “into a quiet neighborhood that is not designed to handle large crowds.”
“Traffic shut down on virtually all streets within a mile of the parade route. Hundreds of school buses clog side streets. Most of the buses are chartered by bars from other areas, as well as student groups from college campuses stretching from Iowa to Michigan. Residents of the blocks surrounding the route witness public urination, sexual activity, vomiting, fights, and teens and young adults passed out from intoxication on front lawns, in the light of day, up and down our city streets and alleys,” O’Shea wrote.
Parade committee member Jim Sheahen said organizers are aware of O’Shea’s concerns but will work with police.
After the last parade resulted in dozens of arrests, the committee decided to end the parade and focus on a family fest at the Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St. The festival was a hit, Connelly said, and got committee members thinking about resurrecting the parade.
“This is not something we did overnight. We critically looked at the parade for all its good and all its faults,” Connelly said. “Safety is the No. 1 concern. It has to be. This is where we live.”
In the end, the benefits of hosting the parade outweighed the possible negatives.
“We see the parade as being vital to the fabric of the Beverly/Morgan Park neighborhood,” Connelly said. “It’s who we are, and it creates an opportunity to have a big picture mindset.”
Bill Figel, president of the Beverly Arts Center, said the family fest will be held March 9-11.
Margaret Schroeder, president of the Mount Greenwood Residents Association, said she’s thrilled the parade is returning, and said most Mount Greenwood residents would agree with her. She’s willing “to serve on any committee to make sure nobody (urinates) on anybody’s lawn.”
“I know people who live on the parade route who miss it. But they don’t miss the unruly, drunken stupors,” Schroeder said. “We want the parade back, but as a neighborhood parade.”


Princess O'Bloggin was taken to the parade 3 years ago, when she was 4 years old. She loved it, then it was cancelled. Maybe this time, the city of Chicago can get it right.

7 comments:

  1. Johnny,

    “a sometimes lawless event fueled by public drunkenness.”

    Sounds like college.

    What a bunch of old ladies - whoop it up and have a good time.

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  2. The biggest problem I've had with the whole thing, is the public urination. Since none of you have ever attended the Southside Irish parade, let me sum it up. You have 250,000-350,000 people, in a 12 block stretch of Western Ave.(Major thorofare) There are no Public washrooms! No porta-johns, nothing. As far as violence and rowdyness. This parade doesn't compare to parades such as Bud Billiken, and Gay-Pride parade. O'Shea is just posturing for his constituents, who he believes are all 70 year olds, who sit in their houses. This parade belongs to us, and I am happy to have it back. I'm sure Princess will be happy as well.

    As a side note, the city paid for bathroom facilities for the OWS protesters. Go fuck yourself O'Shea.

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  3. Johnny,

    My Irish roots are all worked up that the lefties have no problem with OWS scum shitting and pissing all over, but won't let a bunch of drunken Irishmen have the same respect. Reminds me of my favorite line from "Blazing Saddles."

    "We'll take the ni^^ers and the Chinks, but we don't want the Irish!"

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  4. I'm thinking the Irish want to get at least one good party in before the Obamas return and begin to complain about them again.

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  5. Sepp- Just remember one thing. Obama is one puctuation mark away from being Irish..... :)

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  6. TGP- In that context, you could type niggar. I won't label you.

    ReplyDelete