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Mary Kate Manion ’13, pictured center with her court, has been named queen of this year’s Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

St. Patrick’s Day Queen Is Mary Kate Manion ’13

Chicago’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade has crowned Mary Kate Manion ’13 as this year’s queen. Manion and her court will preside over the storied Chicago celebrations March 17.

Manion feels a strong connection to the city as well as her Irish heritage. “My ancestors from my dad’s side hail from Galway, and my ancestors on my mom’s side hail from Mayo,” she explains. These Irish roots connect her to the parade and the tradition. A native of Elmhurst, Ill., Manion currently lives in Lincoln Park in Chicago.

The road to the crown was not easy, as Manion describes. “This has been my third year trying out for the Chicago’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade queen,” she explains. “My dad is the reason why I started. He was the one that encouraged me to try out my senior year of high school. After I graduated from college, he begged me to give it another try.” This perseverance definitely paid off, and Manion could not be more pleased with the results.

Manion, a legislative aide for the Chicago City Council’s Committee on Finance, also enjoys her work on the junior board for Aunt Martha’s Health & Wellness. The organization works to provide health services to youth and families in the Chicago area. Manion’s involvement in her community has contributed to her success in the competition, and she intends to continue advocating for Aunt Martha’s in the future.

Manion encourages everyone to watch the Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and greatly looks forward to the event: “To be a part of that and to represent them and all of Chicago’s Irish community is a blessing and an honor that I will cherish for the rest of my life.” 

Manion’s duties as queen include participating in many Irish-affiliated events, such as taste-testing an Irish soda-bread contest, speaking on Irish talk shows and attending Irish Fellowship Club of Chicago events. She will also be seen shooting the puck at the St. Patrick’s Day Blackhawks hockey game and throwing the first pitch at a White Sox baseball game in September. 

March 6, 2018