Chicago South Side St. Patrick’s Day uncertain - organizers only raised half of the funds

Dennis Dooley, of Tinley Park, IL walks down S. Western Avenue before the start of the 28th Annual South Side Irish St. Patrick's Day Parade on Sunday, March 12, 2006. ..OUTSIDE TRIBUNE CO.- NO MAGS,

Chicago’s South Side St. Patrick’s Day parade is in jeopardy of not running again this year as organizers have failed to raise necessary funds. Having been cancelled three years ago due to the rowdiness it incited, the parade was due to make a comeback this March 11th.

My FOX Chicago reports that organizers have only secured $100,000 for the parade, still short an additional $100,000 that would be required to “pay for extra security and to enforce a ban on alcohol.”
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NBC Chicago reports that the city of Chicago accepted the application for the parade to make its comeback this year, but that a permit will not be granted until the funds are available.

The Huffington Post
reports that Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel is remaining optimistic yet stern about the possibility of the return of the parade. Last month he said that he hoped "people [would] remember a way to celebrate their heritage, celebrate and be proud of it in a way that's also respectful of the community and neighborhood."

However, more recently, Emanuel expressed concerns about the safety of the parade. In a letter to the parade’s committee, Emanuel requested additional details about the current security plans, as well as a public meeting to discuss them.

The parade committee has secured an outside security force for the parade, the same one used to monitor Bears baseball games. The focus of the safety concerns is around alcohol, and both the city and the planning committee are looking for the celebrations to be strictly alcohol-free.

In 2009, nearly 300,000 attended the South Side parade for its twentieth year of marching. There were dozens of arrests, numerous intoxicated persons, assaults on police officers and damage to property, thus putting an end to the parade until now.