Irish parade to be replaced with festival

December 23, 2009 (CHICAGO) Organizers canceled the parade after 2009 because they said the event had grown too large. The final parade drew more than 300,000 people to the city's Beverly and Morgan Park neighborhoods.

The new event will be called South Side Irish Parade Family Fest and be held on Saturday, March 13, 2010.

The daylong event will include an Irish soda bread contest, best-dressed dog and a children's parade.

Organizers said they are focusing on the family in the festival with arts and crafts for children, children's films and a live production by the Beverly Arts Center children's theatre group. The Beverly Arts Center is helping to host the festival.

The cultural event will include Irish food, drink, vendors and live entertainment, including musicians. The headliner will be the Hothouse Flowers, a band from Ireland that combines traditional Irish music with soul, gospel and rock, according to the website.

Admission to the festival is $10 for those 13 and older; $7 for seniors 60 and older. Children under 12 will be admitted for free. Food, drink and merchandise can all be purchased separately.

The South Side Irish Parade Family Fest is the main event of a 10-day celebration of St. Patrick's' Day in the Beverly/Morgan park community that includes the Chicago Irish Film Festival. For information visit,

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