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West Beverly woman queen of South Side Irish Parade

Maeve McSweeney has been named queen 2014 South Side Irish St. Patrick's Day parade. | Supplied photo

Maeve McSweeney has been named queen of the 2014 South Side Irish St. Patrick's Day parade. | Supplied photo

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Updated: March 26, 2014 6:22AM



This year’s queen of the South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day parade has some definite roots in the annual tradition found in Chicago’s 19th Ward.

If not for the parade, there may not even be a Maeve McSweeney.

“My parents met 25 years ago at the parade listening to Irish music,” McSweeney said Monday in a prepared statement. “I wouldn’t be here without the South Side Irish Parade.”

She recalled that as a child, she “always looked forward to the parade, as it was a time for family, friendship and faith.”

“I am so honored to wear this crown,” the resident of Chicago’s West Beverly neighborhood said.

A sophomore at Marquette University in Milwaukee, where she’s majoring in premed, McSweeney will be prominently featured in the March 16 parade. She also will be in the parade the day before in downtown Chicago.

McSweeney, a graduate of St. Ignatius College Prep, was one of 10 women who competed for the crown during a parade fundraising party Saturday at 115 Bourbon Street in Merrionette Park. All the candidates were interviewed individually by a panel of independent judges.

Before the announcement, the parade queen candidates helped sell raffle tickets during the fundraiser.

As queen, McSweeney will be sponsored by the South Side Irish Parade Committee to compete in the Chicago Rose of Tralee contest as the South Side Irish Rose. The mission of the Chicago Rose of Tralee is to provide enrichment opportunities to encourage young women of Irish descent to be exemplary role models for tomorrow’s youth and to make a positive difference in the world.

The winner of the Chicago Rose of Tralee gets an all-expenses paid trip to Ireland. For more information or an application for the Chicago Rose Of Tralee, visit www.chicagoroseoftralee.com.

The 36th South Side Irish Parade will start at noon March 16 at 103rd Street and head down Western Avenue to 115th Street. The 2013 parade featured 90 entries and attracted more than 155,000 spectators. As in the last two years, there is a zero-tolerance policy regarding drinking of alcoholic beverages along the parade route



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