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Why The South Side Irish Parade Was Cancelled

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Mar 27, 2009 4:20PM

Kate Gardiner/Chicagoist
Still reeling from the news that the 2010 South Side Irish Parade has been canceled (or at least won't take place in its current form)? We're finally getting some answers from the South Side Irish Parade Committee as to why they decided to suspend the popular parade. The Trib puts it pretty succinctly:

In the end, it was the numbers that killed the South Side Irish Parade.

Nearly a dozen officers assaulted.

Fifty-four people arrested.

More than 300,000 people crammed along a 24-block stretch.

A dozen police officers assaulted? Cripes. Committee spokesman Mary Beth Sheehan said, "When people feel entitled to attack a police officer, then it has gone too far." Committee member Kevin Norris described the emotional, narrow vote the committee took on whether or not to end the parade after reading through police reports from this year's event: "It was rough. Nobody wanted to see it go away. Then again, nobody wanted to see something horrible happen because we didn't know when to end it."

The Trib reports that many of the residents in Beverly and Morgan Park, where the parade takes place, were in favor of the decision: phone calls to Ald. Virginia Rugai's 19th Ward office were in favor of the cancellation by a ratio of 10 to 1. Still, others continued to protest the decision, including a local college student who has already collected 1,500 signatures on a petition to have the parade revived. [Tribune]

Check out our pics from this year's South Side Irish Parade