‘Armpit Orchestra’ returns to parade for 11th year

EAO ready to march
Gathered around their giant bass drum known as “Mary,” the Elmhurst Armpit Orchestra (EAO) gets set to step off with the St. Patrick’s Day Parade this Saturday, March 4. Don’t miss it!

For the 11th time in history, the men of the World-Famous Elmhurst Armpit Orchestra will entertain those attending the Elmhurst St. Patrick’s Day Parade. This year’s parade is scheduled to step off at noon on March 4th on Spring rd. The EAO plays familiar tunes, including “When the Saints Go Marching In,” on kazoos, bucket drums, vuvuzelas, cowbells, handzoo, stumpf fiddle and other unconventional instruments.

Last year the EAO had the distinction of being named the Grand Marshal of the 25th Annual Elmhurst St. Patrick’s Day Parade. At the parade, the EAO crowned Jennifer Reichert their 2022 Queen. They also recognized Kevin Ferguson, with the Darrell Whistler EAO Spirit Award, in honor of their late colleague. EAO honored the late Robert Robertson Jr.  with the 2022 Colleen Cecile Sutherland Distinguished Service Award.

Throughout its 12 years of existence, the EAO has raised nearly $20,000 over the years for various charities, including Access Sports, Cystic Fibrosis, Down Syndrome, the Elmhurst Hospital Cancer Center, and college scholarships for York High School music students.

Unlike many other entertaining parade acts, some of which also raise funds for charity, the Elmhurst Armpit Orchestra does not charge an appearance fee for the Elmhurst St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

The 26th Annual Elmhurst St. Patrick’s Day Parade steps off at noon on Saturday, March 4, 2023, from Spring Road and Wilson Avenue in Elmhurst. For information about the parade, please visit elmhurststpatsparade.com or call 630-834-0300.