Sunshine, Pride, Tradition At Greater Hartford St. Patrick's Day Parade
By SAMAIA HERNANDEZ
March 10, 2012
HARTFORD— The sun spread warmth as thousands of people descended on the city's downtown for what has become a rich and prideful celebration.
Bundled-up tailgaters set up hours before the 41st AnnualGreater HartfordSt. Patrick's DayParadestepped off on Capitol Avenue, trying to keep warm with temperatures in the low 40s — on the heels of a spring-like week.
Rebecca Schackner of Wethersfield, sporting a four-leaf clover on her cheek and spray-painted green highlights in her hair, said the parade has become a strong tradition in the area.
"Friends are on this side; family's on that side," she said pointing across Capitol Avenue. "My mom is a Murphy. Every year it brings our friends and family together."
Police in a motorcycle motorcade were first to move along Capitol Avenue at 11 a.m. Firefighters, law enforcement officers, members of the military and a host of bands, organizations and groups slowly made their way up Capital to Main, Asylum and Trinity streets.
Spectators cheered, waved and blew green horns.
Five-year-old Joshua Wolfe was mesmerized by the sight of horse-drawn carriages.
Jose Ramos, 9, of East Hartford was thrilled to catch candy and a green lei.
"The Irish community has made such a wonderful contribution to our city," said MayorPedro E. Segarra, who marched in the parade. "For me, it's a way to honor them."
Officials estimated that 4,000 marchers participated in the event, organized by the Central Connecticut Celtic Cultural Committee to promote Irish heritage, chairwoman Elizabeth Saunders said.
The Wolfe family of Southington is not of Irish decent, but they said the parade was a time for everyone to feel Irish.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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