51st Annual Greater Hartford St. Patrick’s Day Parade to go on despite weather
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - The 51st Annual Greater Hartford St. Patrick’s Day Parade will go on Saturday, despite what happens with the weather.
Liz Saunders, the parade’s chairperson, confirmed to Channel 3 on Friday that the snow that was expected overnight will not impact the event.
“When you’re wearing green it doesn’t matter the weather,” said Eric Feeney, Founder and President of Friends of Feeney.
Feeney said a messy morning forecast isn’t going to stop his team from going all out this year.
“In 2019, we won second place, so we’re going to spice it up, it’s going to be even better tomorrow,” Feeney said.
His crew spent Friday afternoon working on a float. He said they’ll be up early tomorrow morning out to finish things up.
Eric Feeney, Founder and President of Friends of Feeney
“Rain or shine, you will see us and we will be chanting ‘be a good friend’ during that parade,” said Feeney.
You may even hear those chants from Pratt Street.
“Get here early, pack your warm stuff, and a little extra whiskey will keep you warm,” said Erin Sweeney, Manager at Vaughan’s Public House.
Sweeney said she’s expecting people to start lining up at about 7:30 Saturday morning, no matter what mother nature brings.
“You know, if it’s a little snowy in the morning, it’ll just be pretty to get you ready for the parade, but it should be fine by parade time,” Sweeney said.
“Kids have practiced, you know they’re all ready, they’ve got their buses, they’ve got their uniforms, their sports teams, everyone’s ready,” said Eileen Moore, Parade Chair.
Moore said she’s keeping a close eye on the forecast.
As long as it’s safe to do so, she’s hoping people from all over enjoy the 51st annual parade.
“We are New Englanders so we’re used to a little bit of weather,” Moore said.
The city has not announced a parking ban yet, but if one does go into place, it will affect city streets.
Moore said all the other lots like Propark and the LAZ should be cleared out before the parade steps off at 11:15.
Businesses said they’re hoping for a decent turnout.
“It’s a huge weekend for us, it’s a huge weekend for the city,” said Johnny Vaughan, Owner of Vaughan’s Public House.
The parade route starts at the Capitol.
“Floats are getting put together, marching bands are getting their uniforms out. It’s been a while for some of them so we’re pretty excited,” said Eileen Moore, Parade Chair of the Central Connecticut Celtic Cultural Committee.
“We love it because we do get to celebrate our Irish culture in such a large way and share it with so many members of the community. Not just from within ours, it allows us to demonstrate all of our Irish step dancing and musicians,” Moore said.
The event brings an average of 60,000 people to Hartford on parade day.
It’s one of the largest events in Hartford each year.
Businesses like Vaughan’s Public House have been busy getting ready for large crowds.
“Organized chaos. Deliveries started yesterday. So a lot of cold beer coming in, huge amounts of corned beef and kitchen guys back there are sweating it,” said Vaughan.
Vaughan said they’ll be ready for the weekend with live music, bagpipers and a whole lot more.
“There’s a great energy downtown and I think people when they come down here, they’ll start to feel the energy and the vibe,” Vaughan said.
The parade steps off at 11:15 a.m. and ends at Memorial Arch.
There will be several road closures in the area.
Click HERE to see the full parade route.
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