St. Patrick’s Day parades in New Haven and Hartford are expected to go off as planned this weekend, despite the bitter cold in the forecast.
According to police, the 46th annual Greater Hartford St. Patrick's Day Parade is expected to go on as scheduled.
New Haven's parade is in the same boat, and is expected to go on "no matter the weather" on Sunday. Spectators are urged to dress appropriately for the bitter cold.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said a Severe Cold Weather Protocol will be in effect from Friday at 5 p.m. until 8 a.m. on Monday.
“Temperatures have been fluctuating a lot lately, which is especially why we want to get word out to the most vulnerable that it will be brutally cold this weekend and anyone in need should seek shelter. Following the snowfall that we’re expecting to receive on Friday morning, temperatures will begin to drop for the next couple of days," Malloy said in a statement on Thursday.
Both Saturday and Sunday morning will be the coldest parts of the the weekend.
According to sources, the organizers still want to hold the parade as planned, however some high school bands were canceling their appearances in the Hartford parade because of the cold temperatures.
Police in Hartford said the sidewalks should be cleared from Friday’s snow for spectators to watch safely.
"Come early so if you're coming for the AAC tournament come down to the parade and enjoy the parade and park. I know it's going to be cold it's New England," Hartford Police Deputy Chief Brian Foley said. "Put on some long johns, put on a hat a jacket and some gloves and come down and enjoy the parade."
The 46th annual Greater Hartford St. Patrick's Day Parade brings more than 50,000 people into the capital city. More than 5,000 people are expected to view the parade, which organizers said "celebrates Irish Culture and honors those Irish-Americans who have made Central Connecticut their home for the past three centuries."
Tara Deveney is an instructor the Coogan School of Irish Dance. Boys are among others that will be step dancing on the back of a float for the parade.
"We tell all the parents and children to dress warmly dress in layers and most importantly just keep dancing staying warm throughout the whole parade route,” Deveney said.
Deveney's in-laws from Ireland will be able to see their grandsons dance this year.
"Fantastic seeing them dance and have our culture stay within the family,” Michael Deveney said.
This weekend isn't the first year Hartford’s parade was threatened by bad weather. It was postponed two years ago. Ice and rain forced the city to push it back a week from the 14th to the 21st. Milford also postponed its parade that year.
The Hartford parade begins at at 11 a.m. at the State Capitol in Downtown Hartford on Saturday while the New Haven St. Patrick’s Day Parade will start at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.
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