MERIDEN — After fearing this year’s St. Patrick’s Day parade would be canceled due to a lack of funding, organizers announced the parade is officially “a go.”
The 47th annual parade will be held March 21 beginning at 2 p.m. after organizers were able to raise nearly $5,000 from the local business community, according to parade co-chair Jim Finley of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the local Irish-American heritage organization that runs the event.
Last month, for a second consecutive year, Finley issued a statement warning that the parade may not be held due to a lack of funding.
Since then, several Meriden businesses stepped up with contributions, Finley said. As of Monday, the AOH had nearly reached its fundraising goal of $5,000 and expects it will reach the goal soon.
“Key contributions have come from the Meriden Knights of Columbus Silver City Council No. 2; Ringler Associates Inc.; and Thompson Candy. All are from Meriden,” the AOH announced.
The statement added, “any business, group, or individual wishing to donate funds to keep the parade alive please make checks out to Meriden AOH, with “Parade” in the reference line, and mail to AOH, PO Box 751, Meriden, CT 06450.”
Funding for the parade began to become an issue after the city decided in the summer of 2018 to indefinitely cut its contribution of $4,000 for the event from its operating budget.
After scrambling to raise $5,000 for last year’s parade, organizers once again announced last month that another $5,000 was needed for the parade.
The AOH didn't begin fundraising until last month because it is nearly "impossible" during the winter holidays, Finley said.
With this year’s parade set, organizers are looking for organizations to march. Those interested can contact Finley at 203-804-6895 or email@example.com.
The parade will step off at 2 p.m. from the corner of East Main Street and Parker Avenue, continue through downtown Meriden and conclude at the corner of West Main Street and Bradley Avenue.