CHICAGO (February 7, 2019) — The South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee announced today that Honor Flight Chicago will lead this year’s parade as the Grand Marshal.

Honor Flight Chicago honors senior war veterans with an all-expense-paid, one-of-a-kind journey to Washington, D.C. Honor Flight Chicago will lead the parade, beginning at noon on Sunday, March 17, 2019, from 103rd and Western in Chicago’s Beverly/Morgan Park neighborhood.

“We are thrilled to be selected as the 2019 South Side Irish Parade Grand Marshal,” said John Ptak, Honor Flight Chicago Board President. “Leading the parade down Western Avenue is just another way for us to thank our veterans for their service and sacrifice and also recognize our many volunteers that make each flight possible.”

Thursday’s announcement was held at Midway International Airport, which has hosted Honor Flight Chicago’s flight days since the organization’s inception in 2008. HFC Board Member Capt. Mark Meskimen led the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of the ceremony following the presentation of the colors by members of the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery Memorial Squad. At the end, students from Independence Junior High — led by student council president Amber Glader — presented a check to Ptak after raising money for Honor Flight Chicago in anticipation of the announcement.

The parade will also honor Choose Kind, an organization dedicated to promoting kindness and raising awareness about Apert syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that affects the proper development of the skull, hands, and feet. Children born with the condition suffer from a range of physical and cognitive impairments and face numerous surgeries over their lifetimes.

“The entire focus of the South Side Irish Parade is on family, community and Irish heritage, and we could not think of two more deserving organizations to represent this year’s parade,” said Greg Kovak, co-chair of the South Side Irish Parade Committee. “The parade committee is excited to highlight these organizations.”


The South Side Irish Parade will kick off the festivities with a pre-parade fundraiser on Saturday, February 23, 2019. The party will be held from 6-11 p.m. at 115 Bourbon Street, 3359 West 115th Street, Merrionette Park, IL, 60803. Proceeds from the evening will help support the expense of operating the parade.

The fundraiser will feature raffle prizes, a silent auction, selection of the South Side Irish Parade Queen, and much more. Tickets are $40 at the door and admission includes a dinner buffet, draft beer and wine.

The Larkin & Moran Brothers and the Avondale Ramblers will provide live music inside the 115 Bourbon Street Performance Hall. The fundraiser will also feature a quieter approach with Irish traditional music sessions featuring Pat Finnegan and Friends inside the Saloon.

South Side Irish Parade merchandise will be available for purchase at South Side Irish Imports, 3446 W. 111th St. Chicago, IL 60655, through St. Patrick’s Day.

About The South Side Irish Parade

The parade is operated by the South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Heritage Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, where more than 100 volunteers work year-round to ensure this family-friendly celebration continues for future generations.

The parade is generously supported by major sponsors including by Paddy’s Irish Whiskey, Lakeshore Beverage, The Beverly Review, Raising Cane’s, IUOE Local 399, IUOE Local 150, Chicago White Sox, ComEd, County Fair Foods and South Side Irish Imports.

Visit for more information on the pre-parade fundraiser and the South Side Irish Parade.