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After 2-year hiatus, Naperville St. Patrick’s festivities scheduled for March 12, 2022

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Above / After a two-year hiatus, Naperville’s festivities to honor St. Patrick that are set for Sat., March 12, 2022. (Post updated Feb. 22, 2022)

UPDATE, Feb. 26, 2022 / Parade Chairman Paul Santucci is putting together the line up for the West Suburban Irish Parade to step off from Naperville North High School at 10AM Sat., March 12. The 26th parade follows the Naperville St. Paddy’s 5K, hosted by the Rotary Club of Naperville/Sunrise, set to begin at 8AM. Spectators are welcome to watch all the participants! Costumes are encouraged. Sláinte!

Scroll down to 2020 post featuring Grand Marshal Dr. Mark Goodwin. 

UPDATE, March 11, 2020 / From Mike Reilly, President of West Suburban Irish:

The West Suburban Irish were informed this morning by City of Naperville staff that the City has canceled the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade that was planned for this Saturday, March 14, 2020.

The City has expressed its concern for the safety of the public in making its decision, and the West Suburban Irish understands and supports the decision the City has made. The safety of our parade participants and spectators is always our highest concern.

The West Suburban Irish regret any disappointment and inconvenience that anyone might experience as a result of the cancellation of the Parade.

The decision made by the City has many implications for The West Suburban Irish that must be considered in the coming days. We expect that all parties involved will work together to address those issues. As always, our goal is to be as fair as possible to all involved in the Parade.

The leadership and members of the West Suburban Irish appreciate the public’s support of our events and activities.

UPDATE, March 11, 2020 / City of Naperville Statement regarding St. Patrick’s Day Parade and 5K:

Out of an abundance of caution for the health of our community and to eliminate unnecessary risk for the public, the City of Naperville is canceling the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and 5K run scheduled for this Saturday, March 14.

The City will work with the organizers to find a possible date to hold these events in the future.

Meet 2020 WSI St. Patrick’s Parade Grand Marshal

Dr. Mark Goodwin, clad in a 2020 West Suburban Irish commemorative scarf at Quigley’s Irish Pub, will reign as Honorary Grand Marshal of the WSI St. Patrick’s Parade, even when it’s canceled.

Original Online PN Post, March 9, 2020 / After the first of every year, it’s become tradition for the president of the West Suburban Irish to ask the most recent Grand Marshals of the WSI St. Patrick’s Parade to gather at Quigley’s Irish Pub for a pint and to pick someone to honor in the next parade. This year’s celebration of fun, frolic and Irish lore with more than 88 parade entries is set for 10AM Sat., March 14, stepping off following the Rotary Sunrise St. Paddy’s Day 5K at 8AM in downtown Naperville.

For 2020, WSI President Mike Reilly and past Grand Marshal’s Nancy Quigley, Chuck Corrigan and Christine Jeffries threw names into the proverbial leprechaun’s hat. Dr. Mark Goodwin was selected for his big heart as well as his love for life, his family, his kids, his golf game and Notre Dame.

“A Chicagoan through and through, Dr. Goodwin hails from the Englewood neighborhood on the south side,” said Reilly. “Both sets of his grandparents emigrated from Ireland in the 1920s and we’re thrilled that he’ll be this year’s Honorary Grand Marshal in our St. Patrick’s Parade.”

Recently PN sat down with Goodwin at Quigley’s when his beverage of choice was Diet Coke.

“I enjoy life and being around nice people. I’m just not the kind of person who really likes the limelight,” said Goodwin, “So at first I wasn’t sure being recognized was for me.”

A cardiologist in the Advocate Medical Group as well as System Medical Director of the Cardiac Innovations & Structural Health Center at Edward-Elmhurst Health, Goodwin first started at Edward in 1986, then moved to Naperville in 1987.

Goodwin went on to explain that when he mentioned the opportunity to be Grand Marshal to his family, his “kids, his sister and his 86-year-old mother were thrilled” with the idea.

Growing up in Evergreen Park, Goodwin recalls both sets of his grandparents came from Ireland. He’s second generation Irish-American with roots in County Claire and County Kerry and fond memories of visiting Ireland 11 times.

St. Patrick’s Day always has been a time to be proud of heritage and family, and the traditions he embraced every year, thanks to his grandparents’ big parties.

“Whatever our heritage, and wherever we’re from, I hope we all have a sense of indebtedness to those who have gone before us,” Goodwin said. “I think we also have an obligation to do our best with the opportunities they’ve given us.”

Goodwin reminisced about living a long distance from his four children—Christina, Laura, Kevin and Shea— and his three grandchildren—Anabelle and James in Texas and Reaghan in Minnesota.

“As a city, a great city with great energy …Naperville is very vibrant with lots of very nice people,” added Goodwin.

Looking forward, Goodwin added that with a little luck of the Irish, his kids just might return to live in Naperville. “Maybe as soon as sometime in 2022,” he said.

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PN Ombudsman
PN Ombudsman
An ombudsman is Scandinavian in origin dating back to Viking times; and refers to a community representative; usually acting independently on behalf of an organization, body of elected officials, or civic group. Thanks Scandinavia for inventing ombudsman.
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