After a three year hiatus, the South Side of Chicago Saint Patrick's Day parade is back on. City officials have sent the parade organizers an invoice for city services, and with that the final precondition has been met.
Despite the eye-popping price tag, parade chairman Joseph Connelly told the Chicago Tribune this week that the $40,000 bill from the city Friday to cover trash clean-up, street sweeping and the installation of barricades is within organizers' budget.
'All along, we've seen this as a formality and have been preparing to move forward with the parade,' Connelly told the Tribune.
The parade is expected to step off on Sunday, March 11. The 2009 parade was canceled due to riotous behavior and drunken fighting among parade watchers.
'We had 300,000 parade goers in 2009, but our feelings wouldn't be hurt if 50,000 people showed up,' Connelly told the Tribune. 'We'd be satisfied with any size crowd, as long as it's well-behaved and represents the values of the neighborhood.'
The parade organizers have promised that 'zero tolerance' will be shown for on-street drinking along the parade route. Check points will also be set up to search bags and make sure parade goers aren't carrying alcohol.
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