St. Patrick’s Day Parade, 03/17/2024

 Parking was somewhat dicey for this “not to be missed event. This included Johnny shoeing away unwanted cars from parking in front of his house. So, besides being our host, he doubled as a parking lot attendant.   As usual, it was quite cold during the annual South Side Saint Patrick’s Day parade, which is typically held on the coldest or most miserable day available.

We had lots to eat prior to attending the parade.  I found out “Jim,” was related to Johnny. He also confirmed Johnny actually did eventually graduate high school, which amazed everyone!    Jim said the priests and nuns really were strict at Saint Ole High School, where painful thumping occurred daily. Apparently, Johnny was often the recipient of these whacks, due to his past misdeeds.  

Typically the Swag (free stuff) is pretty lame at the HUGE South Side parade, particularly compared to “Forest Park Saint Patrick’s Parade,” which occurred early this year on March 2nd. Forest Park still remains the “Swaggyest.”  However, I do believe the South Side Saint Patrick’s Day parade is getting swaggier.   There were some different floats to the South Side Saint Patrick’s Day parade this year. The best one was the Chicago Ghost Buster’s enormous float along with a gigantic Marshmallow float. They were absolutely specular!  Also of note was a 4 person Tandem type bicycle!  They had a marching band where the band members and cheerleaders laid down all their garb and did a spectacular non-Irish dance before marching on.  Quite a few non-River Dancers. On a more solemn note, the Chicago Police had a remembrance of all the slain Police Officers since last year’s parade.  Chicago’s new beloved mayor Johnson and Illinois Governor Pritzker were not in attendance at the parade this year, probably after Lori Lightfoot & Pritzker were “Booed” off the parade 2 years ago, to the merriment of the crowd.  I was the only one to bring a chair to this 2 hour long otherwise standing event and all the women refusde to sit on my lap, for some reason.

Two of the people who came to Johnny’s house, Regina & Ted, were actually two parade marchers and fellow bike riders who tagged along with us post-parade, due to our enthusiasm during the parade.  Also this year, we didn’t attend the traditional Garlic Park location after-party.  It’s quite expensive and extremely crowded. In the past when we’ve gone, we have to yell at each other from 2 feet away and you still can’t decipher what we’re saying. That’s because most of the Irish people at Garlic Park are drunk and very noisy by now.  They sing supposedly Irish Songs at Garlic Park which don’t include, “I’m Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover”, “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling,” and “My Name is Macknamera, I’m the leader of the Band,” so you know the music is somewhat bogus!  Not to mention the food was genuine Irish and much cheaper at Johnny’s. Regina has a brother who is 6’-6” so I gave her a Tall Club Card to give to her tall brother. Regina is only 5” 9” so no dice on her joining Paramount.  We need to include Regina and Ted going forward on our terrific bike rides. I found out that stopping at Gin Mills is something they never did before (and they call themselves bike riders).

Ace Reporter