Time to fund a parade
It’s probably a good idea to state up front that the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Meriden is a most worthy event. So worthy it’s been going on each year for nearly a half century.
But this year’s 46th annual parade is in jeopardy because of a lack of funding. At which point it bears mentioning that this is what voters had in mind when calling for a more stringent approach to budgeting in last summer’s referendum, when the City Council’s budget got an overwhelming rejection slip.
So it isn’t to say the parade is not a worth it; it’s simply an event that should no longer be the responsibility of municipal government. The parade, along with the Easter Egg Hunt at the Meriden Green, Christmas in the Village and the city’s Three Kings Day celebration, is now going to have to find ways outside of taxpayer support to move forward.
And move forward it should. It involves “scrambling,” as the Record-Journal has reported. Organizers are now tasked with collecting at least $5,000 in donations from the local business community.
“That will allow us to at least put on a decent parade,” said Jim Finley, the parade co-chair from the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Irish-American organization that runs the parade.
Time is short, which is why the “scrambling” is needed. The parade is set to take place on March 23 and funding needs to be in place a month in advance for it to go forward.
Finley notes that over the years the parade has become not just a celebration of Meriden’s Irish heritage but of all of the city’s ethnic groups. Recent parades have involved more than 200 participating groups.That diversity – what Finley called one of Meriden’s “greatest strengths” – should be a help when it comes to gathering the funding needed to keep the parade alive.
The city has a way of rallying for worthwhile efforts. Here’s hoping that the St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be no exception.
Read more articles like this and help support local journalism by subscribing to the Record Journal.
Unlimited Digital Access just 99¢
Read more articles like this by subscribing to the Record Journal.
Unlimited Digital Access for just 99¢