I’m not Irish. But you can kiss me anyways.
Chicago South Side Irish Parade
I’ve never been big on St. Patrick’s Day. It’s just never been my thing. Even in college, when most of my peers were waking up at the crack of dawn to ditch class and drink green beer at “unofficial,” I was diligently sober in class.
I really don’t know how I’ve avoided it for so long. I mean, Chicago celebrates St. Patrick’s Day pretty hard. So much so that people I’ve met who are actually from Ireland have told me that they hope to celebrate here some day.
But I’ve never passed out or puked on a Wrigleyville bar crawl. I’ve never seen the river dyed green. I’ve never worn shamrock beads or a t-shirt that said, “Kiss Me I’m Irish.” And I’d never been to the legendary South Side Irish Parade.
Once known as being one of the biggest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations outside of Dublin, the parade was shut down in 2009 for being too out of control. Too many people were attending, too many people were drinking in the streets and causing trouble, and the community couldn’t support the chaos.
But in 2009 the parade marched again, now with a zero-tolerance policy for alcohol, and returned to it’s roots of a community event.
On Sunday I went to the parade with Heather and Jeremy and their friend Pat who lives near the route. And we watched bagpipers and Irish dancers and storm troopers and Santa Claus.
And, for the first time in I don’t know how long, I celebrated St. Patrick’s Day.
A good ole sober St. Patrick’s Day.
If you do want to drink on St. Patrick’s Day like some normal person or something, check out my recipe for minty frozen St. Patrick’s Day pudding shots.