St. Patrick’s Day Downtown Chicago Parade


Festivities for the Downtown Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade, scheduled for Saturday, March 14th, will kick off at 9:30 am when the Chicago River is transformed to a bright shade of Emerald Green. The dyeing ceremony takes place at the intersection of Columbus Drive and the Chicago River.  The best viewing locations this year are the Michigan Avenue Bridge, Columbus Drive Bridge, or Upper and Lower Wacker between Columbus and Lake Shore Drive.

The annual Downtown Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade follows the river dyeing ceremony. One of the largest in the country, this year celebrates the 60th Anniversary of the parade’s sponsorship by the Chicago Journeyman Plumbers Local Union 130 UA. The parade begins at noon and the route runs on Columbus Drive between Balbo Drive and Monroe Street.


2015 St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Start Time: 12:00pm (noon) on Saturday, March 14th

Admission: FREE

More Information: Visit the Official Website


Parade Route: North on Columbus Drive between Balbo and Monroe


Boundaries of Parade: (including staging area)Columbus

from Roosevelt to Randolph

Congress from Michigan to Columbus

Jackson from Michigan Ave to Lake Shore Drive


Street Closure Times:    

Staging area – 8:00am

Eastbound Congress (from semi-circle to Columbus) – 8:00am

Balbo (from LSD to Michigan) – 8:00am

Columbus – full shutdown around 8:30am

*Streets will reopen after the parade has concluded, streets have been cleaned and public safety issues subside, approximately 3:00pm.


If you are planning to attend any St. Patrick’s Day festivities, or will be traveling in the area during this time, please consider taking public transportation. Information is available on the CTA website.

Come out and Play! Spring Registration for Chicago Park District Programs Now Open

Online registration for spring park programming opens this week. The Park District works with residents to ensure that programming is affordable regardless of income level. In December, the Park District launched a redesign of the registration site, including a mobile friendly version.  Learn more about the design changes here.

Residents can register for programs online. Spring registration stared Monday, February 23 for parks located WEST of California Ave. and opened Tuesday, February 24 at 9:00am for parks EAST of California Ave. In-person registration for most parks begins on Saturday, February 28 for most parks.  Spring programs and activities begin the week of March 30, and end the week of June 1st.

Register for spring programs and earn 400 Park Points™ per registration (up to 2,000 total points for spring session). Visit to learn more.

For more information, contact your local park, call 312-742-PLAY or visit

Don’t forget to Vote – Tuesday, Feb. 24th

Important Election Reminder for Downtown Residents!

Election Day is TOMORROW, Tuesday, February 24th!


Please don’t forget to participate in the Municipal Election tomorrow – Tuesday, February 24th, 2015. Make sure your vote counts!

On Tuesday, February 24th, voters will cast ballots to ELECT a candidate for the following offices:

  • Mayor
  • City Clerk
  • City Treasurer
  • Alderman

Chicago voters will also DECIDE various advisory/non-binding referenda on:

  • Whether employers should be required to offer paid leave in the event of illness, domestic violence or an emergency school closing (citywide)
  • Whether workers who commit domestic violence should be required to receive treatment as a condition of continued employment (citywide)
  • Whether Chicago or Illinois should seek a system of campaign finances that involve a mix of small, private contributions and public funding (citywide)

Vote on Election Day!

Polling locations will be open from 6:00am to 7:00pm. Polling stations close promptly at 7:00pm; however, voters waiting in line at 7:00pm will be allowed to cast their ballot. 

To check the status of your registration and locate your polling location, enter your address and last name in the Board of Elections voter lookup tool.


Complete information for voters is available on the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners website,

Gilda’s Club Family Movie Night

Alexander day

Noogie Family Movie Night is this week! Come to the Wells Street Clubhouse on Thursday, Feb 26th at 5:30pm to enjoy Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Snacks will be provided. Please RSVP at

CAPS & Court Advocacy UPDATE

Court Advocacy Needed in River North – Upcoming 2015 Hearings
Alderman Reilly along with RNRA’s Public Safety and CAPS chairman, Bob DiFiglio has been working closely with the Chicago Police Department and City Law Department to address public safety and nuisance issues related to Nouveau Tavern in the River North neighborhood.
The 18th Police District is seeking neighborhood residents to help serve as “court advocates” to attend an upcoming court hearing for the arrests and citations issued at Nouveau Tavern this fall.
The following hearing has again been continued  to Feb. 18th, 9am  :
  • Misdemeanor Court for one patron charged with Aggravated Assault to a Police Officer on October 18
Alderman Reilly is asking River North Residents to consider participating in the “Court Advocacy Program” to ensure the Chicago Police Department’s recent enforcement efforts at Nouveau Tavern result in convictions and penalties for these crimes.
Wednesday, February 18th, 9:00AM
Circuit Court of Cook County
Branch 29 – Misdemeanor / Ordinance
2452 W. Belmont Avenue, 1st Floor
Chicago, IL 60618
Working together, we can maintain River North’s reputation as one of America’s fastest growing neighborhoods that is a welcoming and safe place to live, work and play. 
 For more information about Court Advocacy and to confirm attendance at upcoming hearings, please call Sergeant Vanek at the Chicago Police Department’s 18th District at 312-742-5880. Community participation in these hearings is important and can help impact the outcome of cases. To help the 18th District preserve safety in River North, immediately call 9-1-1 to report suspicious behavior or anything out of the ordinary.  After reporting the incident to 9-1-1, please contact Aldm. Reilly’s constituent office at or by calling 312-642-4242 so our Alderman’s office can follow-up with our Police Department.
CAPS meetings offer River North residents an opportunity to address crime and safety issues directly with the beat officers who patrol their neighborhood, as well as to provide ongoing feedback, which help the police to monitor crime issues.
RNRA has a Public Safety committee headed by  River North resident, Bob DiFiglio, If interested in volunteering for this committee, please contact Bob.

PLEASE NOTEThe 18th District 30-Sector CAPS meeting (Beats 1831, 1832, 1833 and 1834), are held on the first Thursday of every odd-numbered month, was held on January 15th. The next meeting is March 5, 2015 6:30pm.

The meetings are held at the Access Living Center, located at 115 W. Chicago Avenue.

 If you would like further information regarding upcoming CAPS meetings, please call your Police District’s CAPS office.

1st District: 312-745-4381
12th District: 312-746-8306
18th District: 312-742-5778

To find your district and beat, please click here.

Chicago Department of Transportation wants to hear from you!


The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) has launched a month-long, city-wide survey to seek input from Chicagoans about what they appreciate about their streets and sidewalks and what improvements they would like to see.  The survey is designed to help CDOT create guidelines for future improvements in the public right of way.

 CDOT is conducting the survey to gather input for the creation of Placemaking Guidelines for the public right of way.  Placemaking is the term used by urban planners for the process of enhancing public spaces by capitalizing on a community’s assets and potential to improve the quality of life and create vibrant neighborhoods.

The survey can be taken online at: Learn more at
Please participate in the survey and share this information with your family, friends and neighbors

Become an Election Judge for the 42nd Ward


Alderman Reilly is looking for qualified applicants to serve as Election Judges for the February 24 Municipal Election. 

Election Judges are assigned to polling places, and they are responsible for making sure that the polling place opens and closes on time, and that the election is run smoothly. This is a great way to get involved and provide civic service.

Election judges earn up to $170 for their service, provided they complete a very brief training session prior to Election Day. For more information on training and qualifications, please visit:

If you are interested in becoming an Election Judge in the 42nd Ward, email or call Matt Cain at 312-274-0042

Early Voting Ends Saturday, Feb. 22nd

298[1]Don’t Forget to Vote Early in the City Election!

Avoid Long Lines and Cold Weather on Tuesday!


Alderman Reilly strongly encourages you to “Vote Early” before this Saturday, to avoid long lines and cold temperatures on Election Day next Tuesday!

 Early Voting locations are open daily from 9:00am – 5:00pm through Saturday, February 21, 2015Any registered Chicago voter may vote at any Early Voting site in Chicago, regardless of where they live. You don’t need a reason to vote early, you only need a government-issued photo ID.

Downtown Early Voting Sites:

Chicago Board of Elections

69 W. Washington Street, Lower Level Conference Room

Museum of Broadcast Communications

360 N. State Street

Access Living 

115 W. Chicago Avenue

Click here to view a list of all Early Voting locations in Chicago.



Gilda’s Club 6th Annual Teen Essay Contest

Picture1Gilda’s Club Chicago Presents the 6th Annual

“It’s Always Something” Teen Essay Contest!

Open to high school students (grades 9-12) willing to share their experiences with cancer.  We are looking for honest, detailed, personal essays by young writers who have a connection to cancer.  Judges will be looking for an interesting and engaging narrative told in your own words.  The essay should describe your experience and an overall message about how that journey has impacted your life in 500 – 2,000 words. Essays may be written in English or Spanish.  All entries are due by March 2nd, 2015.

Essays will be judged in two categories:

  •     Personal Cancer Experience for those who received a diagnosis themselves
  •     Family Cancer Experience for those who have a family member or friend living with cancer or who have lost someone to cancer

Cash awards are available to winners in each category.

1st Place will receive $3,000
2nd Place will receive $1,500
3rd Place will receive $500

Each entry must be submitted by March 2nd, 2015 and include an official entry form.

Download the rules and the offical entry form HERE. 

Submit essays HERE electronically. 

Or mail them to:
“It’s Always Something”
Teen Essay Contest
Gilda’s Club Chicago
Attn: Elizabeth Healy
537 N. Wells Street
Chicago, IL  60654

For questions, please email Elizabeth Healy at or call 312-464-9900

– See more at:

1 City, 1 Food Drive

fooddepositlogoPartner with the Chicago 18th District Police Department  in being a part of the “1 City, 1 Food Drive” for the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

Items may be dropped in the barrel located in the 18th District main lobby, all hours, until December 14th

Most Needed Items:

Grain: Rice, Pasta, Cereal

Protein: Bean, Peanut Butter, Canned Tuna

Dairy: Shelf-stable Milk

Fruits and Vegetables: Canned vegetable, Canned fruit

Shelf Stable Grocery items: stew, jelly, macaroni and cheese, chili, soup, pasta sauce