Carnival of Irish Heritage and Culture, 18th Edition
St Patrick’s Day is rollin’ ’round for a bit O’fun for the Irish and those that are Irish for the day. We do not discriminate, all are welcome to join in the festivities. Growing up in Chicago, that is how it has always been. I remember watching the Parades on TV, the South Side Irish and then about a week later, the North Side Irish. Watching on the tv as the Chicago River is dyed green. Everything was bright green and festive. This year, Chicago has stopped the South Side Parade and is instead hosting the South Side Irish Parade Family Fest. With the festivities being held indoors at the Beverly Arts Center.
Growing up my Grandmother always dressed me a this cute little green polyester pant suit. I thought it was the cutest thing ever. I was so proud to be Irish! I would go to school all dressed in green and enjoy the party at school. As a child I thought it was a pretty cool tradition to dress in green for the day and have parties.
That was until I met Al. He is also from an Irish family. To be exact, his father was Irish and Scottish, and he was also very proud of his Irish heritage. When Al and his brothers were young, their parents would dress them up in green clothes or Irish T – Shirts, the silly green hats and whatever else they could find, and send them off to school. Each year, the principal would take the boys out of their class and parade them around school to show the other kids what dressing for the holiday really meant. All the boys still laugh about it today when we get together and discuss St. Patrick’s Day. I wish I had a picture of the five boys all dressed up!
My kids have gone through all of Grandma’s St Patrick’s Day decorations and many have come to live at our house, most of them being t-shirts, pins and maybe a hat or two. I do believe that they have grown out of them by now.
I have always been very proud of my Irish heritage and assume it started because Grandma took the time to make sure that as a young Irish girl, I represented Ireland well in my green pant suit each year. As an adult, my Dad has always questioned why I was so proud to be Irish. It is a question that can never be answered, because I do not know – but I am very proud!
My quest for knowledge of my Irish ancestors probably has a lot to do with my Grandma and making sure we were proud of our Irish heritage (funny since she was German). My Irish ancestors are the only ones that seem to continue keeping their secrets still. Hopefully, I will have the luck o the Irish in the days to come and maybe I can start crashing down a wall or two.