St. Pat’s Parade Brings Fire & Ice

Markeshia Ricks PhotosA soggy, slushy forecast wasn’t enough to stop Connecticut’s largest single-day spectator event from making its annual trek through the heart of the Elm City and bringing its own brand of warmth and merrymaking.

With snow and ice still on the ground and a steady chilly mist of rain falling overhead, the 127 units marching in the Greater New Haven St. Patrick’s Day Parade stepped off from Sherman Parkway Sunday afternoon. From fifers to fire-spitting, the parade had a little bit of everything for the brave revelers who defied the weather to wear a little green and be a wee bit Irish for the day.

Lena Cummings and her husband Clarence, pictured above, were in front of St. Raphael’s with a sparse crowd of others cheering on the parade participants. Cummings shouted out members of Connecticut’s Congressional delegation, U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro along with U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy.

“Rosa, my friend,” Lena Cummings said. “Keep up the good work.”

The couple was equally excited to shake hands with WTNH Channel 8’s Keith Koontz.

Clarence said he and Lena can be found at the parade every year.

“We’ve got to come out to support the St. Patrick’s Day Parade,” he said.

As parade participants like the Stony Creek Drums Corps passed by in their period dress ...

... revelers like Patty Nicolari and her neighbors (pictured), who came over for the parade in Nicolari’s “patty wagon”, also came dressed for the occasion.

Umbrellas were a necessary part of this year’s costumery for parade-goers.

Some people even deployed makeshift tents.

Members of the Middletown Fire Department blew on their hands ...

... and told a few jokes and funny stories to keep the warmth going ...

... while the dancers of Brennan Lucey Irish Dance Academy and the Elite Drill Squad Drum Corps relied on their footwork.

The actors from the Midsummer Fantasy Renaissance Faire probably had the best idea of the day. They brought their own fire to keep the crowd warm.


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posted by: Bill Saunders on March 10, 2019  6:48pm

I did not hear one canon, for a change…..
Still, my least favorite ‘New Haven Holiday’.

posted by: CityYankee on March 11, 2019  6:14am

@ Bill Saunders:  why?

posted by: ItsGettingBetter on March 11, 2019  7:28am

Agree with Bill. Litter and day drinking everywhere. Not a place to bring your kids and a really bad look for Irish culture.

posted by: Bill Saunders on March 11, 2019  1:45pm


Firstly, I have never been a ‘parade person’.  I think they a pure bore.  But that being said,
I’ve just seen too much bad stuff happen on St Paddy’s day in New Haven. 

It brings out some real a**holes!

I did make it out of the house around 7pm, and stopped by BAR for a drink with a friend.
There was a Police presence at the door (as their was at Jack’s).

When I casually said to the Officer ‘So, pretty quiet Parade Day, huh?”

‘Yeah’, the Officer replied, ‘I haven’t arrested one person for fighting today.  A First’.

posted by: Stylo on March 11, 2019  2:28pm

I’ve read that the Milford Oyster Festival is the largest single day event in CT. Or is that a different definition than “spectator”?