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 God, so excited,” parade chair Joanne Conlan said.
She and city officials announced the return of the parade on Monday, highlighting declining COVID numbers and the safety of outdoor events.
“And we absolutely wanted to make sure that public safety comes first,” Conlan said. “More important than the parade is making sure everyone is safe, so that we feel comfortable, feel good and are ready to go.”
The parade committee has continued its work for the past two years, even though their big event has been sidelined.
“Just walking in place, we called him. Trying to help different restaurants and just lending our help that way since we couldn’t put on the parade,” Conlan said. “And now we’re so excited to see the community come out.”
There could be up to 100,000 people in the city along the parade route to see more than 100 groups marching through the streets. The day is important for those profiting from the event, and just as important for the bars and restaurants who benefit from a financial boost.
“Crazy multiplied by a hundred,” said Shane Carty, owner of Trinity Bar.
He sees it as a comeback for New Haven businesses and a comeback for the Irish bar which hasn’t seen a St. Patrick’s Day parade in four years. A fire in 2017 crippled them for almost a year and a half. Then the pandemic hit its big day.
“We had everything in the basement ready to go — the beer, all the food in the kitchen. And then the plug was pulled the day before. And then we shut down the next day for four months, I think that’s was,” Carty said.
Now they are ready again.
“We have live bands here, we have live music, we’ll have a tent outside, everything.”
At Prime 16, it will be a first for bartender and waitress Bianca De Jesus.
“I’m so excited to just love serving more people so they can be out there and just interact with each other,” De Jesus said.
The mayor warned that COVID protocols are still in place indoors and urges people to always keep safety in mind. He added that there could be patrols to ensure these restrictions are adhered to.
Even with those rules still in place, Carty is excited to get back to normal as much as possible.
“As a restaurateur and bar owner, I’m just thrilled. Not just for my own bar and all the staff who work here, but for all the other bars in New Haven.