I woke up last Sunday morning a little tired but grinning from ear to ear, thinking to myself: wow, how lucky we are! My grin was one of sheer gratitude and amazement when the faces of so many people kept flashing through my mind from the past number of days. With all the excitement and anxiety that surrounds great events such as the World’s Largest Block Party, I am so grateful to report to you we could not have asked for a better, more brilliant weekend!
The 27th anniversary of this signature Chicago summertime event was successful (and continues to be successful every year) only because of the people who make it happen. During the years, we have come to realize it is, plain and simple, the goodness of people who serve both “on the frontlines” and “behind the scenes” that make this event the most talked about in the city (that might be a little exaggeration, but who cares!).
I stand in awe at the dedication of so many people whose only desire is to make the World’s Largest Block Party successful. We had more than 1200 volunteers make this event successful and for the first time in years, we had to close the volunteer registration days in advance! And the kicker: they all pay $25 to volunteer!! To the many “pioneers” who have been creating the World’s Largest Block Party from the very beginning (since 1984!), to those new faces of the next generation taking the torch and running with it, we are profoundly thankful. The “core” committee leaders were nothing short of amazing, once again! From those who welcomed and handed out cups at the gates, to the courtesy extended by all who served food and beverages, to the folks who so successfully hustled raffle and Pot O’ Gold tickets, to those who stayed through the night to clean up and tear down, the people of Old St. Pat’s created, yet again, another special experience that distinguishes this event as the best summer festival in Chicago. Thank you all so very much for bringing the best of Old St. Pat’s hospitality and graciousness into the streets of Chicago.
In addition, on behalf of all of us, Old St. Pat’s extends a very special thank you to the nearly 17,000 people who attended the two-night event. We could not do this without the support and generosity of businesses and friends who believe in us and what we are doing at Old St. Pat’s. And a special word of thanks to our friends in the media for exceptional coverage this year!
I can never let an opportunity like this pass by without offering a special, public, heartfelt word of deep appreciation to the women and men who are the fulltime staff of Old St. Pat’s and with whom I am privileged to work each day. I feel so fortunate to be on the same team as these incredible individuals who are the best group of Church people in the Catholic world! Their energy, optimism, and faith are second-to-none. They make the planning and execution of an event of this magnitude look so easy. You are being well served each and every day by this great staff. And finally, a big thanks to all who supported the 27th World’s Largest Block Party. We hope you had a good time and enjoyed a couple of great summer evenings listening to some marvelous tunes and perhaps meeting new people. Because of you, we can build upon the mission of Old St. Pat’s as we constantly keep creating, energizing, and moving the life of this great Church forward. I love being a part of this experience with all of you.
With deep and sincere thanks,
Fr. Tom Hurley