Mar 14, 2014
08:03 AM
Connecticut Today

St. Patrick's Day Parades Bring Irish Charm to New Haven, Hartford and Beyond

 
St. Patrick's Day Parades Bring Irish Charm to  New Haven, Hartford and Beyond

Peter Casolino/New Haven Register

Grace Wilson, 7, waits for the New Haven St. Patrick's Day parade in 2013 with her Bull Mastiff, "Macie" along Church Street. They are from New Haven.

There are only two kinds of people in the world, the Irish and those who wish they were.

So goes an old Irish saying, and this weekend everyone in Connecticut has a chance to be a little bit Irish as a robust roster of parades roll out in advance of St. Patrick's Day Monday.

Actually, those who want to be a lot Irish could have started with a parade and Irish festival March 9 in Norwich, continue with events this weekend and sustain the Celtic charm all the way through Mystic's parade on March 23.

The two biggest in Connecticut are the parades in Hartford and New Haven.

According to the website for the Hartford parade, stepping off March 15 (Saturday) at 11 a.m., the parade will be held rain or shine and begins at Capitol Avenue by the State Capitol. The parade route takes a left on Main Street, a left on Asylum, a left on Ford Street, and then ends by the Memorial Arch. Those who plan to attend are advised to arrive early to get a good viewing spot.

"In addition we are happy to announce that this year the parade will again be broadcast live on FOX CT WTIC-TV beginning at 11:30 a.m.," the website says. "The parade coverage will rebroadcast on St. Patrick’s Day at noon on WCCT-TV."

Meanwhile, the New Haven Register says "public events don’t get much bigger than the Greater New Haven St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which will step off at Edgewood and Sherman avenues at 1:30 p.m. Sunday and feature 146 marching units and bands, along with about 3,150 marchers."

The parade’s route will be slightly altered this year due to construction, the Register explains. It will proceed to Howe Street from Edgewood, go right to Chapel and left on Church Street, and then right on Grove Street to its finish at Orange Street.

The parade, whose grand marshal is West Haven Irish American Club member Kelly Canning Ruickoldt, will be shown on WCCT starting at 2, and rebroadcast at 2 p.m. Monday.

The parade queen is Alexis Wheway of Hamden and the honor attendant is Morgan Hildebrandt. New participants include the Sandy Hook Tribute Durango vehicle built to honor the 26 lives lost at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Two new drill teams this year will be the Nation Drill Team (of New Haven), and Berkeley Knights Drill Team and Drum Corps directed by Waterbury police.

Celebrating alongside the grand marshal will be distinguished honorees Michael Shaw of East Haven, Martin B. Hardiman of Milford and Audrey Shea Gallogly of North Branford.

The Irish Echo has a list of big St. Patrick's Day parades in the tri-state area, which includes a list of parades in Connecticut.

Milford's parade is Saturday (March 15) at 11 a.m.

New London's parade takes place Sunday (March 16) at 1 p.m.

Norwich got a jump on the festivities, holding its parade and festival March 9.

And Mystic wraps things up, holding its parade March 23 at 1 p.m.

If you need to know why St. Patrick's Day matters, USA Today just published a primer on its traditions. And if you need to know why "there are only two kinds of people in the world, the Irish and those who wish they were," experience one of Connecticut's parades and you'll start to get the idea.

 

St. Patrick's Day Parades Bring Irish Charm to New Haven, Hartford and Beyond

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