A new initiative, ShamROCK Chicago 2013, has launched a petition to have the Windy City officially dubbed “the” United States headquarters for St. Patrick’s Day.

The group, made up of distinguished Council of Chicago and civic leaders with strong Irish ties, plan to highlight the city’s Irish pride by presenting their petition to Aidan Cronin, the Consul General of Ireland, before St. Patrick’s Day.

Mick O’Rourke, President and CEO of Signature Bank and ShamROCK Chicago Council member said, “More than any other city in the United States, Chicago exemplifies Irish pride. ShamROCK Chicago is an ideal opportunity for all Chicagoans to show their green pride and build community goodwill.

“By encouraging people in the city and beyond to affirm Chicago as the ‘U.S. headquarters of St. Patrick’s Day,’ it will demonstrate to the rest of the country our dedication to promoting our strong Irish ties.”

Chicago’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are known around the world. Since 1962 the city has shown their dedication to being “Irish for the day” by dying the Chicago River green. However they may have some competition in winning the title for the St. Patrick’s Day HQ in the US with New York, Boston, and San Antonio also boasting of world famous St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

Read more: Irish to lobby U.S. Congress to have St Patrick’s Day as national holiday

Jeremy Hogan a spokesman for ShamROCK Chicago said “While other cities might claim older traditions or greater Irish populations, we can safely say that nobody outside of Dublin celebrates St. Patrick’s Day like Chicago does. Thanks to our city’s strong Irish ties and beloved traditions, Chicagoans and visitors from all over anticipate the nearly week long celebration in our city that they can’t find anywhere else.”

It remains to be seen what kind of competition they find from the strong Irish and Irish American communities across the United States. In fact, Scituate, a pleasant seaside town thirty miles from Boston, was named the “most Irish” town in the United States in 2011.

Nevertheless the petition is now live on the ShamRock Chicago 2013 site.

As well as naming Chicago the United States HQ for St Paddy’s day those working as part of the initiative, prominent Chicago business people will promote the effort throughout their communities. These include Tom Boyle of Chicago Gaelic Park, Seamus Byrne of Ireland Network Chicago, and Michael Clune of Clune Construction, to name but a few.

For more information on their initiative visit www.shamROCKchicago2013.com.


Spectators watch as the Chicago River is dyed green for the St. Patrick's Day ParadeGetty