ROCKFORD (WREX) — If you're looking for ways to celebrate St. Patrick's Day this weekend, an annual Irish tradition is coming back to the Forest City. Although the parade will be different than what the city is used to in March, it still carries all the same luck of the Irish.
The Irish Marching Society is hosting a driving parade with Screw City Jeeps and other organizations on Saturday.
More than 100 cars are registered for the event so far. Cars decked out in green and gold will line up starting at 2 p.m. in the parking lot next to Don Carter Lanes in Rockford. Families will start to drive off at 3 p.m. bringing their Irish cheer all across the Forest City.
The Irish Marching Society cancelled Rockford's favorite PaddyFest this month due to COVID-19 concerns. But the non-profit sill wanted to find a way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day and bring Irish culture and heritage to the area.
"The city just kind of really rallies around it and we couldn't let that go unchallenged," said Irish Marching Society President Danny McDade. "We're going to do something to be safe and to show everybody that we haven't forgotten ya. We are still here and we are still putting on the parade and this is our stake in the ground."
Cars must register in advanced for Saturday's event. If you or your family would like to support and watch the parade, you are welcomed to park along the route.
Donations gathered from Saturday's driving event will go towards a Half Way to St. Paddy's Day Marching Parade in September. This parade is taking the place of Rockford's traditional PaddyFest. McDade hopes to bring music, dancing, food and green dye to the Rock River.