Memorable Moments from the Elmhurst St. Patrick’s Day Parade


Part One in a series on the Elmhurst St. Patrick’s Day Parade

by Dave Noble, Special Assignment
ELMHURST – We begin our series on the Elmhurst St. Patrick’s Day Parade with a look back at some of the more memorable moments in the 20 year history of the event.  This year’s parade takes place on Saturday, March 5th at 12:00 p.m.

Memorable Moments

The Elmhurst Fire Department hosts their first and only “Parade Day Blood Drive”.

Organizers restore order and make last-minute adjustments to the parade lineup after members of two different tae kwon do studios square off 15 minutes before the start of the parade.

Illinois Governor and parade Grand Marshall George Ryan is handcuffed and arrested while marching with city and state officials.  Federal officers allow Ryan to finish the parade route and join him for a beer at the Silverado parking lot tent before taking him into custody.

“Scores” of Stone Park is asked to withdrawal before the start of the parade after officials reviewing the strip club’s entry discover eight-foot poles, a small cage and an inflatable swimming pool filled with Jell-O on the platform of the float.

A remote-controlled float entered by Al’s Hobby Shop and operated wirelessly by store manager Luke Stapleton circles uncontrollably at the corner of Spring Road and Crescent Avenue, delaying the rest of the parade for approximately 35 minutes.

The Elmhurst Police Department collects an extra $15,000 from parking tickets by hanging additional “Do Not Park” signs on nearby streets 30 minutes after the start of the parade.

Rules regarding the distribution of candy and novelty items are changed after multiple complaints from Spring Road residents that slap shots of Snickers bars from Chiefs Hockey Club marchers were breaking living room windows and causing other damage to homes along the parade route.

Parade officials place a limit of four local banks allowed in the parade, decreasing the overall number of parade participants by 30% from the previous year.

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