Annual Smilin' Irishman Contest
Every year Irish lads compete for the coveted title of “Smilin’ Irishman”.
The winner receives a G.A.S. Hat and a new Blackthorn walking stick, but more importantly gains the adoration of his fellows. He rides in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and presides over Irish events throughout the year.
This annual contest is organized by the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick and there is always a spirited competition. In 2013 there were entries from the Fire Emerald Society, Marty Walsh, the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, Chris McCain, and the Irish Congress, Chris Ramm.
The participants are put through their paces – they must while blindfolded identify various types of Irish Whiskey, tell Irish jokes, answer Irish trivia questions, propose an original toast and sing an Irish song. Attendees vote for their favorite at $1 per vote – it is a Chicago style election with the winner being the one who raises the most amount of money.
The Friendly Sons donate the entire proceeds from the event to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee in support of the best St. Patrick’s Day Parade west of the Mississippi River. Below are photos of this year's event and some from past years.