[Shaw Media file photo]
Countryside Mayor Sean McDermott said proceeds from the parades have raised more than $50,000 for local charities.
The queen of this year's parade is Lyons Township High School student and Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital volunteer Meaghan O'Neill, who is a citizen of both Ireland and the United States and lives in Countryside. McDermott said her volunteer work was one of the reasons she was chosen to be queen.
"She really exemplifies the ideals of St. Patrick. .... She's a wonderful young lady, and we're really looking forward to her serving as our queen this year," he said.
The parade's grand marshal, Tony Bresnahan, is the owner of Chariot Automotive and a long-time member of the community, who helped start the Countryside Chamber of Commerce and has spent "countless hours" volunteering and "giving something back to the people of Countryside," McDermott said.
"There's a real strong theme in the parade that it's about giving something back to the community and benefiting others," he said.