BEVERLY — Heaven forbid you have carpeting anywhere in your house and host a party for South Side Irish St. Patrick's Day Parade.
Homeowners along the parade route can mitigate at least some of the damage on March 15 by renting a portable toilet. The rentals cost $95, according to Marianne Rowan Leslie, the self-proclaimed "Queen of the Porta-Potties."
"We get about 35-40 private party rentals each year," Leslie said. "They're great for keeping traffic out of your house and keeping the toll off of your bathroom."
Leslie also coordinates the small army of portable toilets paid for by the parade committee. Organizers place 150 toilets from Service Sanitation Inc. along the parade route that stretches down Western Avenue from 103rd Street in Beverly to 115th Street in Morgan Park.
Neighborhood bar owners also rent an additional 75 portable toilets from the group, said Leslie, a resident of West Beverly.
The extra portable toilets along with private security guards tasked with enforcing a zero-tolerance alcohol policy were among the mandates when the parade returned after a two-year hiatus in March 2012.
"Parade marshals keep an eye on them [portable toilets] to see if there’s a need to tweak the numbers or the placement for next year. It’s worked pretty well since the reboot," Leslie said.
It costs about $200,000 to pay for the toilets, security guards and other requirements of the annual parade. To help with the bill, the coordinators will host the 2015 South Side Irish Parade Pre-Parade Fundraiser from 6-11 p.m. Saturday at 115 Bourbon Street in suburban Merrionette Park.
Tickets to the pre-parade party at 3359 W. 115th St. cost $30 and can be bought online or at the door. The event will also feature raffles and silent auction items, as well as the crowning of the South Side Irish Parade Queen.
As for the Queen of the Porta-Potties, Leslie said she and her co-coordinator Matt Hayes of Morgan Park take their jobs very seriously, even going out to measure backyard gates to be sure the portable toilets will fit.
Orders for portable toilets can be placed online through the South Side Irish Parade's Web site. Completed forms must be submitted along with payment at 8 a.m. on March 9. The units are dropped off on the Friday before the parade and picked up on Monday morning.
"The number [of private portable toilets] has been going up every year since the reboot. I believe people are starting to have their house parties again and like the convenience of the Porta-Potty," Leslie said.
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