Since 1984 the block party has been credited with helping connect hundreds of people in search of a mate. And despite the advent of modern dating apps–some still look to the gathering as a way to meet people the old fashioned way.

In the 3 years since it first began, the annual St. Patrick’s Church block party has brought thousands out in search of a good time.

“This is the oldest church fun the city. So, back in the ’80s there was nothing going on here and the West Loop was nothing,” says Rev. Tom Hurley. “So, my predecessor came up with – let’s shut the street down and have a party.”

But along with the delicious food and drinks the party has become well-known for its track record of matchmaking as well.

Megan and Marty Brennan met on the church steps 25 years ago Friday night.

“We just bumped into each other and met on the steps,” Megan recalled. “We’ve been together ever since.”

The two fell in love and got married.

“I went up to a mutual friend we had and I said ‘hey you saw that teacher’ and we got connected that night and 25 years later,” Marty said.

And even today, with the use of apps like Tinder, face-to-face interaction and the old exchange of phone numbers still works here.

“I just think that good people meet good people. You know. I think that’s the magic,” Hurley said.

But for others like Liz Franklyn and Matt Kelley who met via a dating app–there is doubt that the block party could have brought them together–though, they’re here together now.

“I don’t know another situation where I could have met you Liz,” Matt said. “I mean I feel like I would have come of like a little bit of a nerd in real life.”

Published at 10:47 PM CDT on Jun 23, 2017

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