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Security, Parking Plans For South Side Irish Parade Released

By Chuck Sudo in News on Mar 5, 2012 10:20PM

Photo Credit: Ron Reason

The South Side Irish Parade Committee laid out its security plan for Sunday's return of the March of the Beverly Gaelic after a three-year absence. From the looks of things, they're serious about a zero tolerance policy to open containers, public intoxication, and bars on the North side busing in scores of amateur drinkers.

Chicago magazine Director of Digital Strategy—and former Chicagoisto—Scott Smith attended last night's meeting detailing the security plan. His Twitter updates proved to be valuable real-time resources for details for Sunday's parade. Here's what else we know, via Smith:

  • The parade will start at 11 a.m.
  • 19th Ward Ald. Matt O'Shea said the number of parade entries were limited to 80, instead of the 225 in previous years. (O'Shea said stressing a shorter parade will reduce the number of "idiots" who will attend.)
  • There will be security at the LaSalle Street/Rock Island Line Metra station to spot drinkers. Alcohol will not be permitted on Metra trains, and those caught with alcohol on the train will be arrested.
  • Buses that come into the area off I-57 will be routed to Evergreen Park. Buses from the south and west will go to 115th and California.
  • Private security will be on hand to hopefully deter parade attendees from drinking in public. If that doesn't work, 500 Chicago Police officers will be on hand to arrest people.
  • Checkpoints will be set up to monitor for drinking in public, and will communicate with police if they suspect attendees to have booze.
  • Security will work these checkpoints from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.
  • Western Ave. will likely be closed beginning at 9 a.m. to begin staging for the parade.
  • O'Shea said bars will open at 11 a.m. People will prevented from entering a bar for an hour after end of parade passes it. (Four cops per bar will enforce that order.)

Parade committee member James "Skinny" Sheahan. a former Richard Daley confidant, said he didn't anticipate the street and parking closures below. We'll be heading to Beverly Sunday to see how this all pans out.