New Haven Preps for St. Patrick’s Day Parade

The Saint Patrick's Day parade in New Haven is one of Connecticut's most popular events, one that's changed since police started enforcing the $99 fine for public drinking.

"There are really two events now," explained Win Davis, executive director of the Town Green Special Services District. "On Crown Street, there's a bar event. On Chapel Street, there's the parade."

For years, people looking for restrooms have gone into bars, restaurants and businesses that are open during the parade. One bar owner said it's been a battle between doing business and letting people do their business.

But across the street from his place, there will be portable toilets, two of 83 that the district and business community intend to spread throughout the area.

"I don't think you can ever have enough," Davis said, "but we're really trying to make it much easier for people to do the right thing when they need to relieve themselves."

He said authorities don't let people roll coolers off the trains anymore. He remembers parade-goers once putting a beer keg in a wheelchair and dressing it up as a disabled person, something that couldn't happen today.

But there's still a need for portable toilets.

"I think it's a good idea," said Will Abling, a Cromwell resident who plans to attend the parade Sunday. "That way, people aren't running in these businesses, trying to use the bathroom at the businesses. It makes it a little more convenient for people with kids, families, stuff like that."

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