It’s the inclusive beauty of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day: Everyone’s Irish.
Thousands took advantage of the old adage Sunday at the South Side Irish Parade, including a few politicians.
“Today I’m McIves,” State Rep. Jeanne Ives, 42nd District, a Republican candidate for governor, said while waving to paradegoers along the Western Avenue route through the Beverly neighborhood.
“I’m Jeannie Colleen Margaret Mary McIves,” she joked, tailoring her name for the occasion with a laugh.
Every other day her roots are 100 percent German.
Her opponent, Republican primary opponent, Gov. Bruce Rauner, did not attend.
A platoon of marchers around Democratic gubernatorial hopeful J.B. Pritzker wore shirts bearing a shamrock and his name.
“My father’s family is from what was part of the Russian Empire, Ukraine, Kiev. And my mother’s family was originally from Poland,” he said.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Daniel Biss said he marked St. Patrick’s Day in his calendar when he was growing up.
“It was my grandfather’s birthday … so it was like a family holiday in a way,” said Biss, whose mother grew up in Israel, the child of ethnically Hungarian Romanians. His roots on his father’s side are Austrian and Polish.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris Kennedy paused to chat curbside along the parade route near a line of mounted Chicago Police officers.
“My heritage is Irish,” Kennedy said. “There’s about 15 percent in there somewhere that’s other. It’s a little undetermined. Maybe a little Dutch.”
The chat was interrupted by the proximity of one of the horses and the urging of a mounted officer to take a couple of steps in the opposite direction. Kennedy readily heeded the advice.
“I missed a debate about two weeks ago because about 10 years ago I got kicked by a horse,” he said.
“You see that,” he said pointing to a bent hoof. “That is not a good look.”
The South Side Irish parade drew an estimated 150,000 spectators, according to parade organizers.