One St. Patrick's Day in Connecticut planned for this weekend has been rescheduled while two others are expected to go on as planned on Saturday and Sunday.
The Milford St. Patrick's Day Parade, which was scheduled for Saturday, was rescheduled to March 18 The decision to reschedule was due to bitter cold temperatures expected on Saturday.
However, the 46th annual Greater Hartford St. Patrick's Day Parade is expected to go on as scheduled.
Crowds were advised to gather early as the Hartford parade begins at at 11 a.m. at the State Capitol.
"This is going to be a great parade. You've had the parade committee and groups from lots of towns working all year to get ready and it's a fantastic parade," Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced that a Severe Cold Weather Protocol would be effect from Friday at 5 p.m. until 8 a.m. on Monday. This weekend the wind chill is expected to dip to zero or below at times, so many people asked why officials did not postpone it.
"In the past, we have postponed the parade, but only for heavy snow is the only reason," Hartford Police Deputy Chief Brian Foley said. "We've done it and here's why, it's a heavy lift and you're really putting a lot of people in a bad position."
Dozens of restaurants have planned for March 11 for months and are sitting on perishable foods. Groups have ordered flatbed trucks for their floats and some marching bands can't reschedule because they're already booked for St. Patrick's Day parades next weekend. Other bands, who were planning to march, have pulled out due to the cold.
"It's supposed to be really cold the wind chill is going to be down near zero, and I think we're worried about our kids getting frostbite," New Britain High School Director of Bands Dr. David Kayser said.
On top of the parade, police are expecting hundreds to attend the XL Center if the University of Connecticut Men win their American Athletic Conference on Friday night. Hundreds more are expected at the Convention Center for a cheerleading competition. There will be over 100 police and undercover officers out patrolling.
"This is going to be a fun family event and dress warm, wear layers. Again, if you don't wear a kilt you will be fine," Foley said. "Just plan ahead and dress warm."
Foley said he expects the parade will last no later than 2 p.m. because those marching will be rushing to get it done quickly.
New Haven's parade is in the same boat as Hartford, and is expected to go on "no matter the weather" on Sunday. Spectators are urged to dress appropriately for the bitter cold. The New Haven St. Patrick’s Day Parade will start at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.
The Milford parade will step-off at 1 p.m. from the Wasson Field Parking Lot on W. Main Street on March 18. Marchers will march their way through the traditional downtown parade route.
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