Organizers of the parade have said no one has been arrested at the annual march down Western Avenue from 103rd to 115th streets since it returned in 2012 after a two-year hiatus.
A renewed focus on family has been largely credited with turning around the event that resulted in 54 arrests after a particularly warm parade day in 2009. Most of those incidents stemmed from drunken, rowdy behavior.
The parade committee looked to curb drinking on the route upon its return by instituting a zero-tolerance policy on alcohol. Both private security and Chicago police were encouraged to write tickets to anyone drinking within 800 feet of the parade.
Those caught drinking or urinating in public face fines of $500 to $1,000 or up to six months in jail. The parade committee also made a conscious effort to monitor social media for any groups looking to attend the parade with the sole intent of getting drunk.
“We were delighted with the great day, seeing so many families along the parade route enjoying this year’s festive parade entries,” said Jeannie Kovak, co-chairwoman of the South Side Irish St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee.
Organizers expected about 200,000 spectators on the route in what has become the largest neighborhood-based St. Patrick’s Day Parade outside of Ireland, they said.