South Side Irish Parade
The South Side Irish Parade returned this March after being cancelled in 2009 due to the disorderly nature of some spectators. Support from the parade committee helped restore the event this year by making sure it was family-friendly. Founded in 1979, the route marches in the Beverly neighborhood down Western Avenue from 103rd to 115th Street. There are many shades of green adorning the floats, street posts and spectators at this living homage to the South Side’s strong Irish heritage.
South Side Irish Parade, southsideirishparade.org
Best of Chicago 2012
Second-generation owner Jack Dreznes and the affable Joe Lemus are quite the antidote to the jaded judgmental hipsters manning the counters at other local vinyl emporiums. The used-record quality here is some of the best in the city, i.e. if a record at Beverly looks clean, it probably sounds clean when you get it home. Forgotten Teddy Pendergrass and Bootsy Collins albums sidle up next to rare Beatles 45s, and if you’re really lucky, you might just find a 40-year-old still-sealed-in-cellophane-and-never-played Loretta Lynn album like we did a few weeks ago.
11612 South Western
Best of Chicago 2010
Beverly Arts Center
Of the major new theater spaces to open within the past year (among them Noble Fool’s location in the Loop and The Raven’s in Edgewater), it is the $10 million dollar, brand-spanking-new Beverly Arts Center in southwestern Chicago that is truly buzz-worthy. The boxy, looks-just-like-the-Steppenwolf, 420-seat theater has an enormous stage, comfy, mohair seats and excellent acoustics. And, on sale at the art-oriented gift shop: a van Gogh plush doll for kids, complete with removable ear. Can’t really beat that, can you?
2407 West 111th Street (773)445-3838
Audience choice: The Noble Fool Theater
16 West Randolph
(Noble Fool Theater moved to Pheasant Run’s Fox Valley Repertory, 4051 East Main,St. Charles in 2004)
Best of Chicago 2002