Old St. Pats ending World's Largest Block Party

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CHICAGO — It’s the end of the road for one event, but the start of a new tradition.

Old St. Patrick’s Church is ending the World’s Largest Block Party.

For 35 years the church hosted the festival.

But organizers say Chicago’s summer festival scene got so crowded it was time for something different.

In a statement on the church’s website, Father Tom Hurley said, in part,

Old St. Pat’s is a much different place than it was 35 years ago and the city, its demographic landscape, and the summer event environment is much different and likewise much more difficult for us to navigate. There is more competition today than ever before during the summer months in Chicago. We are grateful for where we have been and we are excited as we look to the future and starting to plan events, experiences, and programs that reflect where we are going.

In the statement, he said he is serving as Grand Marshal at this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

“Besides our participation in this historic city event, we would like to host a different kind of Block Party, calling it “Shamrock’n the Block” which we will host right here on Desplaines Street in the shadows of Chicago’s oldest church. More details will be forthcoming but PLEASE mark March 14th as a day to start something new for our future, which is filled with great Hope.

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