By Mary Jo Viero
BAPA Executive Director
I feel so lucky right now! I know that sounds corny because you see that word everywhere during St. Patrick’s Day season, but I can’t help it. The South Side Irish Parade Committee has named BAPA the Special Parade Honoree for this year’s parade. It feels a bit surreal because I’ve been going to the parade since I was in my 20s. Now I will be marching with BAPA. What I find exciting is that the Parade does what BAPA does.
For over 40 years, the South Side Irish Parade has celebrated the Irish heritage of family, faith, and community while showcasing our neighbors, schools, parishes, small businesses, and community organizations so thousands and thousands of people from all over can experience our unique and beautiful community.
The pride the Parade brings to us lasts all year. We Love Where We Live and the South Side Irish Parade is another reason we do!
The goals and mission of BAPA are very much the same as the Parade mission. Everything we do is to promote our neighborhood and build on our strengths. Each time we host an event like our annual Ridge Run, Home Tour, and Garden Walk, our goal is to bring our community together to connect with friends and neighbors, and to welcome people from outside of the neighborhood to experience our community spirit.
BAPA also showcases the beauty and architecture through our Ridge Run, Home Tour, and Garden Walk. Our Porch Concerts shine a light on talented local musicians while moving each concert to a different part of the neighborhood.
We are thrilled that the South Side Irish Parade committee appreciates the efforts and contributions that BAPA has made over the last 75 years — and continues to make every day – enough to choose us as an honoree.
I am so grateful for the opportunity to march down Western Avenue, and I am so proud to represent an organization that has been working for our neighborhood since 1947. Lucky me!
I hope to see you all on parade day, and know that I am filled with nothing but love for where I live.