NORWOOD PARK — St. Patrick High School president Joe Schmidt will march as grand marshal of the 14th annual Northwest Side Irish Parade on Sunday, parade organizers announced.
Schmidt was one of the parade's first participants during its earliest years, when no more than a couple hundred people took part, organizer Elizabeth Murray-Belcaster said.
This year, he'll be celebrating his 50th year at St. Patrick, having also served as the school's principal and a teacher.
"There's such a love for Joe at St. Pat's — he always brings an energy like no one else in the room," Murray-Belcaster said. "He's a mentor not just to students, but to all of us, and his anniversary [at the school] was just one more reason we wanted to celebrate his involvement."
The parade kicks off from Onahan Public School, 6634 N. Raven St., at noon Sunday. The route leads south on Neola Avenue toward Northwest Highway, where it will head west to its endpoint at the intersection of Harlem Avenue.