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The Ultimate Guide to St. Patrick’s Day Parades in CT

New Haven St Patricks Day Parade
Written by Timothy Stobierski

St. Patrick’s Day is coming, and in CT that means one thing: Parades! Here’s everything you need to know to have a successful outing this St. Patrick’s Day.

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 biggest and most exciting 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 10, 2018 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.

Hartford Parade Route
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 11, 2018 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.

New Haven Parade Route
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.

New Haven Parade Toilet Locations

Courtesy the New Haven Parade website

Stamford St. Patrick’s Day Parade

The Irish were the first immigrant group to settle in Stamford, and the Stamford Parade commemorates that Irish heritage.

To celebrate, Stamford is holding their St. Patrick’s Day Parade on the March 3, 2018 at 12pm. The parade route starts on Hoyt Street, travels down to Summer St and crosses over Broad St. It’s take a left onto main street and then another left on Bedford St for the duration of the parade.

Stamford-St.-Patricks-Day-Parade-Map

Map Courtesy Stamford’s Parade website

New London St. Patrick’s Day Parade

New London will turn their town into the center for Irish festivities on March 11, 2018 at 1:00pm.

The parade starts on Bank Street down by the train tracks. After heading to the end of Bank Street, it takes a left onto state street and goes all the way down to the left turn on Washington Street.

Various parking lots will be opened up for a small fee. Bars and stores may also have special hours for people trying to get a good spot.

If you want to commemorate the day you can stop by Muddy Waters on 42 Bank Street to pick up a St. Patrick’s Day Parade shirt.

New-London-St-Patricks-Day-parade-map

Map courtesy the Downtown New London Association website

Norwich St. Patrick’s Day Parade

This parade takes place on March 4th at 1:00pm. If you get there really early and need something to do, you can join the Ancient Order of Hibernians at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral at 10:30am for a Green Mass.

Once the parade has ended you may want to find your way to Main Street for live music, beer, face painting, food trucks and crafts. Make sure to write it down in your calendars and don’t be late for the 5th annual Norwich Parade.

Parade Parking:

  • Main Street Garage – 70 Main Street
  • Market Street Garage – Market Street
  • City Hall Garage – 101 Broadway
  • ArtSpace Lot – 113 Franklin Street
  • Intermodal Transportation – Falls Avenue

Road Closures:

  • Cliff at main
  • Main at Railroad
  • Franklin Square
  • Franklin at Bath
  • Franklin at artspace lot
  • Franklin at willow
  • Franklin at Bosweel/Oak
  • Chestnut at Willow
  • Broadway at Willow
  • Union at Broadway
  • Water at Courthouse Square
Norwich-St-Patricks-Day-Parade-Map

Photo courtesy Norwich’s parade website

Essex Go Bragh Parade

This parade in Essex allows everyone to be Irish for the day. The 8th annual Irish Parade is set to step off on March 10, 2018 at 10:30am. The parade marches right down Main Street into the heart of Essex and has a festival following the parade. The route starts off at the Town Hall and turns onto West avenue. After that, it heads down Main street until ending in the town village.  Surrounding roads will be closed for the duration of the parade.

There will be decorated tractors, cars and bikes! Bring your friends and family and make sure to wear the colors! Maybe dress up the family dog too. The parade will have horse drawn wagon rides and face painting. Make sure to check out the local restaurants for special hours.

Mystic Irish Parade

The Mystic Irish Parade kicks off on March 25, 2018 at 1pm. A must-see parade for anyone in the area, the parade is welcoming back the world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales as a part of their procession.

Held in the heart of historical Mystic Town, the parade starts at the Mystic Seaport and heads down Greenmanville Rd before taking a quick right onto Willow Street and another quick left onto Broadway. It ends after a left onto Water St. and finished at the Groton Police substation.

There will be bathrooms located along the route while most of them will be near the drawbridge. Parking can be found at the Mystic Arts center as well as side roads and other businesses along the route.

Mystic-St-Patricks-Day-Parade-Map

Map Courtesy the Mystic Parade website

Greenwich St. Patrick’s Day Parade

The Greenwich Parade kicks off at 2pm on March 18, 2018. If you need to get your fill of pipe bands, floats, horses and marching bands Greenwich might be the place to go.

The festivities start off at the town hall and take a right onto Field Point Road. They take a right onto Greenwich Avenue and go all the way down to the Island Beach parking lot on Steamboat Road.

Show your support for Irish Heritage by attending and partaking in the St. Patrick’s day festivities. Check out the local restaurants to full-fill your Irish food needs.

greenwich-st-patricks-day-parade-map

Map courtesy the Greenwich Parade website

Helpful Tips For Whatever Parade You Go To

  • 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!

About the author

Timothy Stobierski

Tim Stobierski is a Connecticut native and a freelance writer and editor who has worked with a number of publishers including Taunton, Abrams, and Yale University Press. He has written for Grow Magazine, The Huffington Post, The Hartford Courant, and many other publications. His first book of poetry, Chronicles of a Bee Whisperer was published in 2012 by River Otter Press. He is the founding editor of StudentDebtWarriors.com, a website focused on helping college students avoid and pay off their student loan debt.

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