House parties were the rule for some residents in the 19th Ward Sunday morning as they got a head start on celebrating the South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
After the parade kicks off at noon at 103rd and Western, it then marches south to 115th Street. About 150,000 people are expected to attend, organizers said.
Over at the home of Tom and Katie Lynch, in the 10500 block of South Hoyne Avenue, about 40 friends and relatives gathered for a breakfast of Irish sausage, ham, scrambled eggs, blood sausage, soda bread, coffee and orange juice.
Katie and two of her sisters were busy preparing six dozen eggs for the guests who began arriving around 9:30 a.m. Katie and her daughter, Alaina, 27, went to an Irish Mass at St. Barnabas Catholic Church on Saturday evening to give them more time to prepare for Sunday’s feast.
Maureen Wott, of Burr Ridge, is Tom’s sister. She came wearing a wild headdress — green, of course — that lit up. Today is more about eating good food and watching the parade, she said.
“It’s a celebration of family tradition and it gives everybody the opportunity to take the time from their busy lives to get together and appreciate what you have,” Wott said.
Over at the parade route, Jim Malcolm, 56, of Bridgeview, was at the spot he’s been the past seven years, a bus stop near the start of the parade at 103rd and Western.
With the temperature struggling to get to 20 degrees and a stiff wind blowing, Malcolm said, “I prefer 80 degrees, but we’ll deal with it.”
Malcolm said he arrived at 10:30 a.m., 90 minutes before the parade was to start, to secure his favorite spot.
Residents of Hoyne Avenue and 103rd Street got the treat of seeing John Brogan, of Mount Greenwood, walking to the parade in his full St. Patrick costume. Brogan, 66, has been donning the garb for 20 some years to ride on the Irish/American Alliance float, and confided that “some people think I’m the Pope.”
Organizers said there are 99 entries in this year’s parade.
CONTRIBUTING: Nick Swedberg