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In Pictures: The Return Of The South Side Irish Parade

By Chuck Sudo in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 12, 2012 2:20PM

Well, damned if the South Side Irish Parade Committee didn't pull it off. The return of the much-maligned parade after a three-year absence largely stuck to a family-friendly theme, while parade organizers, private security and Chicago Police vigilantly monitored an estimated crowd of 150,000 to enforce a zero tolerance alcohol policy. The Police Department said there were no arrests and only one citation for public urination, compared to 54 arrests when the parade was tabled in 2009.

But the crowds were manageable and respectful to the heightened security presence this year. Western Avenue was packed with families lining the barricades to watch the parade, which was over in a little more than an hour. By 1:30-2 p.m., the folks who came down to drink were able to enter the bars.

Overall, this was a smooth operation and, if the parade committee can pull this off in future years, I would suspect Beverly residents would have minimal objections.

Check out these photos of the parade by Ken Gilbertson.