A year ago this week the world shut down, specifically Rockford and the rest of Illinois. In fact, a year ago (plus a few days) Irish Marching Society had to pull the plug on their St. Paddy’s Day Marching Parade and PaddyFest in downtown Rockford. This was a big-time disappointment but there wasn't an option. Like many events over the past several months, there have been creative ways to pull off annual events as normal as possible with safety in mind, including this year's St. Patrick's Day parade.

This year folks won't be (and are encouraged not to) lining the streets as green and gold displays pass nearby instead there will be a driving parade. This parade route is official and will have two routes, according to the Irish Marching Society.

The idea is simple, participants will gather in their vehicles at the designated parking lot, be broken into divisions, adjust their decorations, be given suggested routes to drive, leave the parking lot at the designated time and drive the suggested city streets to give maximum exposure to the citizens of Rockford of our celebration of the Irish culture and heritage.

Both routes will begin at the former Magna (now empty) parking lot next to Don Carter Lanes in Rockford. One route will travel west towards downtown Rockford, the other toward Rockford's northeast side.

Westbound Route

Google Maps
Google Maps

Northeast Route

Google Maps
Google Maps

Expect to spot many of your favorite St. Patrick's Day parade participants including local law enforcement and Screw City Jeep Club.

There are other events happening Saturday, according to StatelineKids:

  • Janesville Shamrock 5K and 10K Walk and Run at O’Riley and Conway’s Irish Pub
  • Irish Music from Danny’s Gone Rogue at Prairie Street Brewing Co. in Rockford
  • St. Patrick’s Pub Crawl in downtown Rockton

Here are the details on those events and more.

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JB Love is ½ of  Q98.5's Lil Zim & JB In The Morning, weekday mornings from 5:00 a.m. to 10 a.m. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and TikTok.

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