Patrons of Piggyback Tavern and O’Sullivan’s Public House will be able to party under the Big Top during and after the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the Forest Park Village Council said Monday. The council approved the two taverns’ requests to pop up temporary party tents on village-owned parking lots adjacent to the two establishments at 410 Circle Ave. and 7244 Madison St.

The council decided at the previous meeting to try to put a procedure in place for the use of public parking spots by private bar owners.

Piggyback’s initial request was for a nine-day, 20 x 40 foot tent that would cover 12 parking spots. Commissioner Mark Hosty, who profits financially from a competing bar, Healy’s West Side, proposed the motion that Piggyback’s tent request be limited to only two days during the “parade weekend,” March 9 and 10.

O’Sullivan’s asked for a tent that would be erected on Marengo Avenue from Friday, March 8 through Monday, March 11. Abigail Seiple of O’Sullivan’s said in a letter that the tent would be used Friday for a Holmes School fundraiser and would house items for a silent auction. She said the tent would be used on parade day for “families to have a place to congregate with their kids for lunch.” The tent would also be a meeting spot for representatives from the Mercy Home for Boys and Girls and that live music, including a jazz band, DJ and the Trinity Irish Dancers would use the tent in the evening.

Both requests were approved by the council.

Village Administrator Tim Gillian said staff had met with the police, fire and public works departments to ask what needed to be in a tent/public property policy.

“We needed to collect information about safety and cleanup,” Gillian said before the meeting. “We also had to make sure to include language we know is relevant for certificates of insurance and liability waivers.” Gillian’s recommendations include a fee of between $100-$500 for the tent, as well as $1 million in insurance.

Jean Lotus loves community journalism. She covers news, features, two school boards, village council, crime, park district and writes obits for Forest Park Review. She also covers the police beat for...

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