Updated Post, March 12, 2022 / With the thermometer reading 12 degrees at 10AM, the West Suburban Irish Parade Route along Mill Street was set for spectators, most decked out in Irish wear. Additional pictures from the parade will be posted in a Photo Gallery a little later.
Original Post, March 10, 2022 / The West Suburban Irish plan to put on its 26th Naperville St. Patrick’s Parade after a two-year pause due to the pandemic. The popular parade will begin progressing along Mill Street beginning at 10AM on Sat., March 12.
Expected to attract spectators from across the western suburbs, parade chairman Paul Santucci promises a mix of floats, Irish dancers, marching bands, entertainers and St. Patrick himself.
“This year’s Grand Marshal, Dr. Mark Goodwin, has waited patiently for two years to lead parade festivities,” said Santucci. “Plus, this year we’re celebrating the health care workers for their tireless efforts to keep our community healthy, especially during the past two years.”
“We’re so excited to bring back the Naperville St. Patrick’s Day Parade this year,” added Terry O’Dowd, Vice President of the West Suburban Irish. “It’s Naperville’s signature springtime event. We’re thrilled to welcome back parade watchers to experience it safely, live and in person.”
The WSI St. Patrick’s Parade is a family event celebrating Irish heritage and culture, a time when everybody is welcome to put on a little green and wear shamrocks. The local event attracts over 3,000 participants and 15,000 spectators to downtown Naperville.
Santucci noted the folklore and frolic put on by parade participants also serve the memory of fun-loving Nonnie Marovich who died at the age of 94 on Aug. 5, 2021. Parade proceeds will benefit the Nora Moran Marovich Service Award, named for one of the founders of the West Suburban Irish who also served as a past Grand Marshal and active club member. Four scholarship awards will be presented, ranging from $500 to $2,500.
Santucci added that the popular collectible Irish-theme scarfs again will be available for $5 each along the parade route.
“Kelan Murphy had the idea in the beginning and it’s still her baby,” said Santucci. “We’ll be selling a new design as well as other scarfs remaining from other years.”
The parade staging area again is at the Naperville North High School south parking lot before launching at 10AM on Mill Street, heading south toward Jackson Avenue. All entries will turn east on Jackson along the DuPage River before turning south on Main, and finally ending on Water Street. Sláinte!