After being canceled two years in a row due to the pandemic, the St. Patrick’s Day parade is back in New Haven.
“Oh my gosh so excited,” said parade chairwoman Joanne Conlan.
She and city officials announced the parade's return Monday, pointing to declining COVID numbers and the safety of outdoor events.
“And we absolutely wanted to make sure public safety is first,” Conlan said. “More important than the parade is making sure everybody is safe, so we feel comfortable, we feel good, and we’re ready to go.”
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The parade committee kept up its work in the last two years even though their big event was sidelined.
“Just marching in place we called it. Trying to help out different restaurants and just lend our help that way since we couldn’t have the parade,” Conlan said. “And now, we’re just so excited to see the community come out.”
There could be up to 100,000 people back in the city along the parade route to see more than 100 groups marching through the streets. The day is a big one for those enjoying the event, and just as big for the bars and restaurants getting a financial boost.
“Crazy multiplied by a hundred,” said Trinity Bar owner Shane Carty.
He sees it as a return for businesses in New Haven, and a return for the Irish bar that hasn’t seen a St. Patrick’s Day parade in four years. A fire in 2017 shut them down for almost a year and a half. Then, the pandemic hit on their big day.
“We had everything in the basement ready to go -- beer, all the food in the kitchen. And then the plug got pulled the day before. And then we shut down the next day for four months I think it was,” Carty said.
Now, they’re ready once again.
“We have live bands in here, we have live music, we’ll have a tent outside, the whole lot.”
At Prime 16, it will be a first for bartender and server Bianca De Jesus.
“I’m so excited to like just serve more people so that they can be out and about and just interact with each other,” De Jesus said.
The mayor did warn that COVID protocols are still in place indoors and urges people to still keep safety in mind. He added that there may be patrols making sure those restrictions are being followed.
Even with those rules still in place, Carty is excited to get back to as normal as possible.
“As a restaurant and a bar owner, I’m just delighted. Not only for my own bar and all the staff that work here but for every other bar in New Haven.”