You may not be Irish, but you don’t need to be to enjoy the St. Patrick’s Day parades around Connecticut this weekend. This is your guide to the two biggest St. Patrick’s Day Parades in CT.
Hartford St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Every year, Hartford hosts a parade in celebration of the upcoming holiday, and if you have ever gone you know that it is one for the books. If you haven’t, it is highly recommended that you take part in the celebrations. You won’t regret it.
This year the parade will be held on Saturday, March 11, 2017 at 11am. The parade route begins at Capitol Avenue by the State Capitol, takes a left on Main Street, a left on Asylum, a left on Ford Street, and then ends by the Memorial Arch. This should help you figure out where you want to set up.
- Map courtesy the Hartford Parade website.
It’s also important to remember that, duh, roads are closed to help keep parades safe for everyone involved. If you’re planning on attending the parade (or even if you’re not, but plan on being in Hartford the day of the event), here are the road closures that you should be aware of:
- Capitol Avenue between Broad Street and Washington Street (closed at 9:30am)
- Hungerford Street between Capitol Avenue and Russ Street (closed at 9:30am)
- Oak Street between Capitol Avenue and Russ Street (closed at 9:30am)
- Washington Street between Capitol Avenue and Buckingham Street (closed at 9:30am)
- Trinity Street entire length Capitol Avenue exit ramp from I-84 East (closed at 9:30am)
- Capitol Avenue between Broad Street and Main Street (closed at 10:40am)
- Main Street between Buckingham Street and Church Street (closed at 10:40am)
- Asylum Street between Main Street and Spruce Street (closed at 10:40am)
- Ford Street entire length Conlin Whitehead Highway @ Columbus Blvd. Exit (exit ramp will be open) (closed at 10:40am)
The best part about it being held in and around downtown Hartford is that the party never ends. You can continue your celebrations at one of the many bars in the area, most of which include drink and meal specials that day so you won’t need to worry about spending too much money. Some bars even offer pre-parade incentives including Black Bear’s “Kegs and Eggs” breakfast buffet if you purchase your ticket ahead of time.
We all know that St. Patrick’s Day is more than just an excuse to drink beer and have a good time, but a little green beer never hurt anyone.
New Haven Parade
The Greater New Haven St. Patrick’s Day Parade is the largest single day spectator event in the state, a major feat that beats out any of our other parades and even our devout Husky sports gatherings. It will be held on Sunday, March 12, 2017 starting at 1:30pm.
The parade begins on Chapel Street at Sherman Avenue, and ends on Grove Street at Orange Street. The route travels Southeast on Chapel Street, to the end of the Green, where it turns left onto Church Street. It follows Church Street to Grove Street, where it turns right, and end at Orange Street. The entire parade route is 1.5 miles long.
- Map Courtesy the New Haven Parade website.
Just like in Hartford, roads will inevitably be closed to accommodate the parade participants and viewers. According to the mayor’s proclamation, the following streets will be closed starting at 11am:
- Norton Street, from George Street to Edgewood Avenue
- Derby Avenue, from Norton Street to Chapel Street
- Winthrop Avenue, from George Street to Edgewood Avenue
- Sherman Avenue, from George Street to Edgewood Avenue
- Chapel Street, from Church Street to College Street (This closure starts at 1pm)
- Chapel Street, from College Street to Ella T. Grasso Blvd.
- Church Street, from Chapel Street to Grove Street (This closure starts at 6am)
- Grove Street, from Church Street to Orange Street
Like the Hartford parade, many New Haven bars and restaurants open early to provide you with a place to relax and meet up before the parade and after it ends. Keep your eyes out for good deals on your favorite foods and drinks, as they’re bound to be around.
Hate going to the parade because you can never find a bathroom when you need one? Thankfully, New Haven has released a map of all the port-a-potties that have been placed around the parade route. This map is a few year’s old, but chances are the toilets will be placed in or around the same locations.
- Arrive early to get your spot along the parade route and to avoid much of the traffic.
- If you have children and you don’t want to hear them complain about walking too far, park in the many nearby lots or parking garages: It may be more expensive because it is closer, but it’ll save you a headache.
- If you want to save some extra money, bring your own food and beverages. The St. Patty’s Day parade is the only day in Hartford where you are allowed to walk around the streets with liquor, so if you plan on indulging you can save yourself some money by bringing your own instead of paying covers to get into bars to buy overpriced green beer.
- Bring water and fold-up chairs! The parade itself can last about 45 minutes to an hour, and if you are smart and arrive even earlier to secure parking you will be there quite a while. Give your feet a break and prepare to be there a while. This is especially important if you have small children with you (unless you love the sound of “Moooooom, my feet hurt!” in the morning).
- If you are taking part in bar events like the “Kegs and Eggs” breakfast, buy your ticket ahead of time to save money and ensure you get your meal.
- This goes without saying, but if you are planning to drink, don’t drive. You put yourself and everyone in danger. The police will be conducting DUI checks during and after the parade, so if safety isn’t incentive enough to be responsible then hopefully money will be. Choose a designated driver before the event, or plan on calling for an Uber or Lyft.
- Don’t forget to WEAR GREEN!