Continuing a tradition beloved by people from all over the Chicagoland area, Forest Park’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade will take place on Saturday, March 2 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on Madison Street between Van Buren and Elgin.
Over 70 entries will participate in the parade including: the award-winning Proviso Marching Band, local businesses from Oak Park, Forest Park, and 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.
The forecast calls for a cloudy day in the low 30’s, no rain, and winds around 11-13 mph.
If history is bound to repeat itself, there are two types of parade-goers that attend: the mild-mannered family person and the beer-bonging St. Patrick’s Day enthusiast.
I like to think of myself as being some combination of the two. That’s why I got there on time last year and conducted myself like a human being until about 2:30 p.m. or so. After that all bets were off.
My advice is to arrive at the parade early if you are looking for a family-friendly experience. If you are more interested in the bar aspect of the event, the Madison Street pubs should be packed long into the night.
Now that we’ve got the logistics and some of my recommendations out of the way, do you have anything green to wear? Are you finally ready for spring? Do you know any Irish expressions? Here are a couple of 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 a popular expression but doesn’t apply since the parade starts in the afternoon. Use this one at the pregame.
- “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?” You get the idea.
Have a safe weekend celebrating. I’m hoping to see a great community of people in good spirits on Saturday.