On Saturday, March 11th, The West Suburban Irish (WSI) hosted Naperville’s 30th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade downtown with presenting sponsors Chris Jacks and Rich Janor for Park Board. The parade featured over 85 groups and delighted the crowd of spectators. To get the festivities started, long time Naperville resident and 2023 Grand Marshal, John Drohan, lead the pack of participants, which included marching bands, floats, and St. Patrick himself!
Naperville’s 30th St. Patrick’s parade wowed the crowd
Announced by father-daughter emcees Mike Reilly and Meg Smith, the parade started on Mill Street heading into Downtown Naperville, continued East on Jefferson, before turning south on Main and ending at Water Street. Among the many participants were; Saints Peter and Paul School Cheerleaders, Naperville Jaycees, and the Naperville Hurling Club. A full list of participants can be found on WSI’s website.
The parade had many performances including; a bagpipe performance by the firefighters’ highland guard, a dance and bagpipe performance from the Chicago Scots, an Irish dance performance by Weber Irish Dance and McNulty Irish Dance, a rock performance from School of Rock Naperville, and barbershop singing from Chorus of DuPage.
WSI celebrates new beginnings
West Suburban Irish was founded in 1993, when resident Kevin Dolan sought to create a St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Naperville. WSI prides itself on being an organization focused on the pillars of friendship, fun, and service. The St. Patrick’s parade is a family-friendly event which celebrates Irish heritage and culture and in recent years, it has attracted nearly 15,000 spectators, who flock to Downtown Naperville to witness the cultural celebration. Now, 30 years after its debut, current WSI president Matt Jones stated, “We are so excited to celebrate new beginnings with the Naperville St. Patrick’s Day Parade this year. It’s one of Naperville’s signature events and we’re excited to host it for the 30th year in downtown Naperville.”
Among the new beginnings for WSI is a new location for their Irish Fest, which will be held in Downtown Naperville this September.
Check out NCTV17’s coverage of other community events in the Naperville area.