It’s the first day of March and the annual Forest Park St. Patrick’s Day Parade is a short two days away. Seeing as my name is Patrick, I should probably attend. But that still begs the question, “What about you?”
In case you’ve never been, the Forest Park Chamber of Commerce puts on an annual St. Paddy’s Day Parade in the downtown district of Forest Park. Beginning at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 3, all are welcome to flood Madison Street between Van Buren and Elgin to enjoy bagpipers, Irish dancers and everything else that represents the Emerald Isle.
The parade has steadily grown in popularity in recent years and it is one of the most recognizable St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the western suburbs. 2018 will include over 70 entries such as: the award-winning Proviso Marching Band, local businesses from Oak Park/Forest Park/River Forest, Medinah Shriner’s Mini Choppers, Roaring 57’s and Clown Unit, area police and fire vehicles, floats, Irish Dancers, Forest Park Dog Park, Toys for Tots, and others.
My advice is to enjoy the parade early if you are looking for a family experience. I cannot predict what will happen after the parade has concluded, but I will say that folks will be sticking around to enjoy the bars on Madison Street once the last float has passed, myself included.
According to the National Weather Service, the forecast calls for a mostly sunny day with temperatures between 42-47 degrees and wind at 10 miles per hour. I think Mother Nature is feeling festive because this seems very Ireland-like.
Now that all the boring logistics are out of the way, do you have anything green to wear? Are you ready to welcome the start of spring? Do you know any Irish expressions? Here are a couple quick ones to bust out on Saturday to impress everyone standing around you…
- “Erin go bragh!” is generally translated into “Ireland forever.”
- “Sláinte” is not only a pub on Madison Street but a toast that means, “To good health.”
- “Top of the morning” is not really a thing anymore, so steer clear of that one. It will be the afternoon anyway so what are you even saying?
- “What’s the craic?” is an expression that basically means “what’s happening,” “what’s going on,” “what kind of fun things can we talk about?”
We hope to see you on Saturday. Sláinte!