We've never seen so much green.
Oak Forest residents marched to the beat of its own parade—a day before the return of the South Side Irish festivities.
Residents lined Cicero Avenue from 157th to 151st streets, as bagpipes, horses, Irish dancers, leprechauns painted the street green for the 3rd annual Fleadh (Gaelic for "festival").
The day started off with a 5K, with donations from runners to benefit the St. Damian Food Pantry. Runners put their chins down and pushed into the wind of the early morning cold. Some—like Australia native Rodney Bashford—gussied up in green for the occasion. Bashford ran with a can of Guinness around his neck, shot glasses strapped to his head and one in his hand, "in case anyone wants to fill me up along the way," he joked.
Businesses along Cicero opened early, doling out breakfast and beer for patrons. Kids took to the street before the parade during Open Streets, riding, rollerblading and walking on a normally busy avenue. The parade featured local businesses, organizations and groups decked out in Irish style and spirit. The fun continued into the evening, with a pub and restaurant crawl packed with live music, drink deals and corned beef.
Oak Forest Patch Editor Lauren Traut, New Lenox Patch Editor Michael Sewall and Mokena Patch Editor Paul Dailing worked the crowd during the parade, capturing some of our favorites. Check it out!
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