The Wee Folks of Washtenaw & Talman, founders of this great parade, along with the South Side Irish Parade Committee, would like to announce the 2023 South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade has returned! Tradition Marches On! On Sunday, March 12,  the parade will step off at noon from 103rd and Western Avenue in Chicago’s Beverly/Morgan Park neighborhood. A family-friendly event, the South Side Irish Parade began in 1979 and has grown to become the largest St.Patrick’s Day community-based parade outside of Dublin, Ireland.

The South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2023 Grand Marshal will be the Chaplains of the Chicago Police and Fire Department. These chaplains provide around-the-clock support to both active and retired officers and their families during times of extreme stress. Their presence often prevents highly tense situations from turning more tragic as they focus on ensuring’ mental health issues are addressed.

The Parade Honoree will be the Beverly Area Planning Association (BAPA) that is celebrating its 75th year of improving and developing the Beverly Hills/Morgan Park community. BAPA, the Parade Honoree, is a grassroots civic organization. Its motto, “Love Where you Live,” has served as a unifying force for residents, institutions, and businesses since 1947. BAPA’s programs continue to preserve, improve and enhance the quality of life in Beverly Hills/Morgan Park, one of Chicago’s best neighborhoods.

“The central focus of the South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade is faith, family, community, and Irish heritage,” explained Marianne Rowan Leslie, co-chair of the South Side Irish Parade Committee. “From our perspective, we could not think of a more deserving group than the Chicago Police and Chicago Fire Chaplain Ministry to represent this mission. Their work to support police and fire professionals as they encounter life challenging situations deserves to be recognized. We are delighted to highlight the Chaplain Ministry to help raise awareness of the supportive services they offer to Chicago Police and Fire on a daily basis.”The Chicago Police Chaplain Ministry provides pastoral and crisis care to the Chicago Police Department community. They demonstrate to police officers that they are never alone in their jobs despite the incredibly difficult situations they may face. Chaplains have been especially helpful in handling officers’ mental health, providing trusted, 24/7 care. Officers know they have somewhere to turn for help.

“We are honored to be selected as the 2023 South Side Irish Parade Grand Marshal,” said Rev. Dan Brandt, the director of the Chicago Police Chaplains Ministry. “Walking alongside the individuals and organizations that represent the Chicago Police and Fire departments is another chance to remind these individuals of the difference they make and thank them for their sacrifice.”

As for Chicago firefighters, the Chicago Fire Chaplain Ministry is committed to serving the needs of active and retired firefighters and their families when they feel they have nowhere else to turn. Caring for the firefighters and their families, especially in the event of tragedy for one of the fire professionals, is only one of their roles. They are available daily to help firefighters and their family members address the pressures associated with these jobs.

“Being recognized as the Grand Marshal is a privilege we are honored to be a part of,” said Rev. Bill McFarlane, the Chicago Fire Department Chaplain. “The men and women of the Chicago Fire Department community have taught me some of the greatest lessons in their times of grief, and I am proud to walk alongside them in the parade honoring these individuals as the heroes they are.”

“BAPA is thrilled to be selected as the South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade Honoree,” said May Jo Viero, BAPA’s executive director. “BAPA is a unique organization where neighbors help neighbors and community means everything, and we are proud to be a part of an event that brings the community together.”