New Haven St. Paddy's Day Parade Draws Huge Crowd - NBC Connecticut

New Haven St. Paddy's Day Parade Draws Huge Crowd

Road closures are in effect ahead of the parade.



    Are you feeling festive? Gear up in green and head to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New Haven.

    The parade, which typically draws a crowd of more than 200,000, is the sixth-oldest parade in the country and the single largest spectator event in the state.

    "We have all of our traditional bands coming: the pipes and the drums and a couple new groups, including a couple drill teams," said parade chairman Tim Gallogly. "We have the hula hoop girls coming and all of it, a lot of the ones we've had before."

    It kicks off at 1:30 p.m. at the intersection of Edgewood and Sherman avenues, then proceeds down Edgewood to Howe Avenue, turns onto Chapel Street and continues to Grove Street.

    The parade runs about three hours long and will end on Orange Street.

    All 1.8 miles of the parade route will be closed to traffic Sunday. The Muster area, which encompasses a block to either side of Edgewood Avenue between Sherman Avenue and Norton Street, and from Edgewood back to Ella T. Grasso Boulevard, will also be shut down.

    Most road closures take effect at 11 a.m., but Church Street from Chapel to Grove streets closed earlier this morning.

    The streets will open one by one as the parade passes through.

    Parade VIPs kicked off the morning with a traditional Irish breakfast at Anna Liffey’s at 17 Whitney Avenue.

    Grand marshal Kelly Canning-Ruickoldt said the breakfast has become a family affair.

    “I’ll be in the history books, as well as my daughter Melinda, who was parade queen in 2005, so it’s just like a family role,” Canning-Ruickoldt explained. “My son sang the Irish national anthem at the Irish ball last week, my oldest Irish dances and everybody has their piece, so it’s just exciting.”

    The parade route was shifted north a block this year due to construction in the city.

    "The city has done a fantastic job getting everything nipped and tucked," Gallogly said, "filling potholes and getting our flags all set up on the corner up there, and I think we're ready to roll."