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Irish parade kicks off season

Madhu Mayer | 2/19/2020, 2:47 p.m.
Irish eyes will definitely be smiling on the Village of Plainfield in March. The Plainfield Village Board earlier this month ...

Irish eyes will definitely be smiling on the Village of Plainfield in March.

The Plainfield Village Board earlier this month approved road closures for the 2019 Irish Parade, which will step off from Plainfield Central High School at 1 p.m. Sunday, March 15. The parade will travel north on James Street, east on Lockport Street, south on Illinois Street, west on Commercial Street and return to Plainfield Central High School.

Since 2013, organizers have also requested the closure of DesPlaines Street south of Lockport Street to Chicago Street for a tent to host various family-oriented activities, according to Police Chief John Konopek. That request was also granted by the board.

This year's event will mark the 18th annual Irish Parade in downtown Plainfield. With a maximum of 80 entries, the parade normally takes about 90 minutes from start to finish. Last year's event, which had 75 entries, attracted about 2,000 spectators as the weather was cold and windy. The Irish Parade has become the kick off for Plainfield's special events season.

To keep everyone safe, Konopek said organizers have also warned participants on the float to not throw items to the crowd. He said anyone who violates this rule will be banned from future parades.

Manpower for the parade cost the village nearly $5,700, with employees from the police, public works' departments and Plainfield Emergency Management Agency providing help with security, clean up and street sweeping.

"Weather permitting," said Konopek, "the parade and associated St. Patrick's Day events bring several thousand people to the downtown area."