WEST LOOP — After 35 years of attracting thousands of people to its annual “World’s Largest Block Party,” Old St. Patrick’s Catholic Church will not host its annual West Loop summer bash this year.
In a letter posted on the church’s website Sunday, Father Tom Hurley announced the church, located at 700 W. Adams St., won’t host its two-day block party this June as in previous years. Instead of the summer fest, the church will launch a new block party called Shamrock’n the Block on Desplaines Street on March 14, Hurley said.
Hurley said the demographic landscape and competitive “summer event environment” became increasingly difficult for the church to navigate.
“As we get ready to embark on the 175th anniversary of Old St. Patrick’s Church, we feel it’s time for us to start imagining and creating events that will launch us into the next chapter of our community life,” he said in the letter.
It’s unclear whether officials plan to host the World’s Largest Block Party in the future, and officials were unavailable to answer questions late Monday evening.
Details on the Shamrock block party are forthcoming, Hurley said in the letter.
Over the years, the church used proceeds from the World’s Largest Block Party, spearheaded by Hurley’s predecessor and mentor Father Jack Wall, to support its social justice initiatives and outreach activities of Old St. Patrick’s Church.
Hurley credited the block party’s longtime success to the attendees, supporters and “countless volunteers who pushed the annual summer fest to become “one of Chicago’s signature summer-time festivals.”
“We are so proud of the amazing run of the World’s Largest Block Party we have enjoyed for these past 35 years. Without those significant funds, much of what we do today at Old St. Pat’s would never have been realized,” Hurley said.
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